An OVI is a charge of operating a vehicle while under the influence of either alcohol or substance abuse, said Lt. Edward M. Crispen of the Portsmouth Post of the OSHP.
According to the OSHP, state troopers have made 24,051 OVI arrests on Ohio Roads during the months of January through November, with most arrests occurring in Franklin County, where 800 arrests were made.
Following Franklin on the list of the Top 10 worst counties for OVI arrests are Lorain (768), Mahoning (670), Stark (670), Trumbull (652), Clermont (615), Montgomery (612), Lucas (592), Butler (569), and Clark (565).
On the patrol's list of Top 10 worst counties for felony OVI cases - in which the suspect has four or more OVI convictions - Scioto County placed third, with 34 cases between Jan. 2005 and Nov. 22, 2006.
That's an average of one felony OVI arrest made in Scioto County every 20 days.
In a release issued by the OSHP, the patrol calls these felony cases the “worst of the worst,” and says that they are “dangerous repeat offenders who continuously jeopardize safety on Ohio roads.”
“For all OVI seasons, you have some seasons that go up, and some that go down. We're actually sitting at almost 5 percent increase in OVI arrests this year as compared to last year in the county,” Crispen said.
There's typically a spike during the holidays, but it's mostly the summer months that experience the most OVI arrests, Crispen said.
“There are times in the evenings (in the summer months) when statistics will show you that one in four drivers are under the influence,” he said.
The Top 10 list for felony OVI cases includes Lorain (38), Portage (37), Scioto (34), Stark (32), Brown (27), Ashtabula (22), Franklin (21), Athens (21), Richland (19), and Warren (18).
Crispen says that it's impossible to know why Scioto County ranks higher than most in the state.
“There's multiple factors that have to do with that. Anything from social economics systems in the community, to the ability of officers to patrol those particular areas,” Crispen said.
RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 235.