CINCINNATI -- Ohio State Highway Patrol and local police departments alike were out in force on Labor Day to ensure that holiday celebrations didn’t lead to accidents behind the wheel.
“Any holiday, whether it’s Labor Day or any holiday, is time to go out and have fun, be with family and friends, but you need to do it responsibly,” said Sergeant Mark Nelson of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
Nelson’s post alone has made 35 OVI arrests since Aug. 17, he said.
Monday marked the end of the "100 deadliest days of summer," a period of time between Memorial Day and Labor Day in which more teen drivers are on the road and summer holiday celebrations can contribute to an uptick in DUI and OVI incidents.
Distracted driving is the most common cause of crashes involving teens.
"Teen driver safety has been a growing concern," said AAA's Cheryl Parker. "We have seen, especially during the 100 deadliest days, when school ends and right until school begins, we tend to see more teen driver crashes and teen driver fatalities."
According to AAA, Ohio roadways are extremely busy.
"It's been a record year for travel … summer travel,” Parker said. "We saw more people on the road than we have for a long time."
According to the state highway patrol, there were over 14,000 DUI-related crashes and 365 subsequent deaths in Ohio in 2015. Over the past year, heroin overdoses have made Ohio roadways more dangerous than ever.
WATCH cruiser cam video of a father and son being resuscitated after overdosing behind the wheel
"A lot of those people that are ODing are ODing while they are behind the wheel," Parker said.
During last year's four-day holiday reporting period, 14 people lost their lives on Ohio's roadways.