By Melody Vallieu
MIAMI COUNTY — The Miami County Sheriff’s Office will be deploying extra deputies working overtime during various time frames through Sunday for traffic enforcement purposes only. The deputies will be deployed in the northwest part of Miami County focusing on common routes of travel to the Country Concert in the Hills in Fort Loramie this weekend.
“Yearly, because of this grant we try to do some saturation at places where there has been a lot of instance of OVIs (operating a vehicle while intoxicated) at a result of Country Concert,” Miami County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Dave Duchak said. “We do this to deter drunk drivers and crashes and hopefully make apprehensions when necessary.”
Duchak said areas where deputies will concentrate are common routes for County Concert fans to take to return to Miami County from Fort Loramie, including State Route 48, State Route 185, State Route 66, north of Piqua, Rangeline Road and Miami-Shelby Road.
“We will have a high presence out there to ensure people get there safely and return safely,” he said.
Deputies will continue working traffic enforcement overtime details throughout the rest of the county through July 31 as well.
Past experience has shown an increase in alcohol-related arrests by those persons traveling to and from the Country Concert. For those reasons, deputies will be conducting saturation patrols in the northwest part of the county. Deputies will be strictly enforcing all Ohio traffic statutes focusing on removing impaired drivers from the roadway. Deputies will also be strictly enforcing Ohio’s seat belt restraint laws, speeding, stop sign and failure to yield statutes along with other violations contributing to crashes.
The goal of the saturation patrols is to remove impaired drivers and reduce crashes so those attending the concert can have safe routes of travel to and from the concert.
Deputies will have a zero tolerance for traffic violations and no warnings will be issued during the aforementioned traffic blitz. The extra deputies are being funded through a grant the Sheriff’s Office received late last year. The grant, administered by the Ohio Office of Criminal Justice Services utilizing federal funds, pays for all overtime costs for deputies and some fuel costs.
During the recenty Fourth of July blitz for the sheriff’s office cited 75 people, six were arrested for DUI, along with a host of other traffi-related offenses, including:
• License plate — owner failure to file — 1
• License plate — display/expired — 1
• Driving under suspension — 7
• No operator’s license — 1
• Expired operator’s license — 1
• Operating a vehicle while intoxicated, under the influence — 6
• Operating a vehicle while intoxicated, breath .08-.169 — 2
• Failure to control — 1
• Texting, prohibibted while driving — 1
• Speed/excessive for conditions — 38
• Following too close — 1
• Stop sign violation — 7
• Prohibited driving on closed highway — 2
• No seatbelt, driver — 2
• Hit/skip crash, public roadway — 2