Category Archives: Press Releases

Amigos Don’t Let Amigos Drive Drunk

In the United States, Cinco de Mayo has become synonymous with festive fiestas and salty margaritas. Historically, the fifth of May commemorates Mexico’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War. There’s no victory when partygoers drink and drive.

In 2014, there were 343 crash fatalities during the Cinco de Mayo holiday weekend (6 p.m. May 2 to 5:59 a.m. May 6). One out of these three people lost their lives in the drunk-driving crashes. 116 people could be alive today if Cinco de Mayo partygoer had designated sober drivers.

Over the 2014 Cinco de Mayo holiday period, almost one-fifth (18%) of drivers in fatal crashes had BACs of .15 or higher which is almost twice the legal limit in every states.

Twenty-five percent of drivers in 2014 Cinco de Mayo holiday fatal crashes had BACs of .08 or higher. During this same weekend, only 70 percent of drivers in fatal crashes were completely sober (with .00 BAC).

Cinco de Mayo holiday period drunk-driving fatalities have decreased slightly from 90 in 2012 (45% of all crash fatalities), to 65 in 2013 (40% of all crash fatalities), to 33 people in 2014 (33% of all crash fatalities).

Do your part to make your Cinco de Mayo safe. Designate a driver, call a friend, or call a cab. Amigos don’t let Amigos drive drunk.

For More Information:

  • Ohio State Highway Patrol, Lt., Jerrod Savidge
  • Safe Communities Coordinator, Sandy Wiechman
    419-372-9353 |

Safe Communities Fatal Crash Data Released

Wood County Safe Communities announced today there have been four fatal crashes compared to three last year at this time.  This is an increase of one crash to date.

May is also Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. Motorcyclists have all the same rights and privileges as any motor vehicle driver on the roadway. During Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in May –and during the rest of the year –drivers of all motor vehicles are reminded to safely “share the road” with motorcyclists and to be extra alert to help keep motorcyclists safe.

In Wood County alone, helmet usage for persons involved in crashes was 52.5% percent in 2015. This is an increase from 2014, when the helmet use in crashes was 52.4%. However, the percentage of people injured in crashes has decreased from 100% in 2014, to 66% in 2015. With this in mind, it is essential now more than ever that motorcyclists wear a helmet.  Always be aware of the presence of motorcycles.

For More Information:

  • Ohio State Highway Patrol, Lt. Jerrod Savidge, 419-352-2481
  • Safe Communities Coordinator, Sandy Wiechman
  • 419-372-9353 or

Winter Safe Driving Tips

To help reduce the number crashes, especially fatal crashes, in Wood County, Safe Communities provides you with our top 10 tips to help keep drivers safe on the road.

10. Look out for pedestrians. Be cautious when driving near crosswalk, school zone, and high pedestrian locations. Familiarize yourself with the location of crosswalks and high traffic pedestrian areas.

9. Take a refresher course. There are opportunities for seniors and experienced drivers to take a refresher course to help ensure their family and friends that they are good to drive.

8. Drive defensively. Keep in mind other drivers and keep safe braking distances from the car in front of you. Remember if you are doubling speed the breaking distance becomes 4 times as far.

7. Look out for motorcycles. Even in cold weather, there are still motorcycles on the road! Be alert and aware of motorcycle riders.

6. Always be the driver you want your teen to be. Statistics show that your children start to learn how to drive, and your habits, from the time their car seat is moved to forward facing.

5. Know the restrictions on teen permits and license. Be familiar with the laws regarding teen drivers and make sure the teens follow theses laws while learning to drive.

4. Commercial motor vehicles are vital to our nation’s economy. While truck drivers do contribute to some traffic crashes, research shows that too many drivers of passenger cars unnecessarily endanger themselves by failing to recognize that trucks and cars differ in their handling characteristics.

3. Focus on driving. Driving is already multitasking don’t add more distractions. Eating, drinking, smoking, fixing hair or make-up, or using a cell phone should be avoided while driving. Hands free texting and calling is still distracting; use these devices sparingly.

2. Don’t drink and drive! If you are buzzed or have had too much to drink, call a friend, family member, or taxi to take you home.

1. Always wear your seat belt!

For More Information:

  • Jerrod Savidge, 419-352-2481
  • Safe Communities Coordinator, Sandy Wiechman
  • 419-372-9353 or

Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk

Super Bowl Sunday is approaching and fans are starting to gear up for the February 7 game of the Broncos vs. the Panthers. Safe Communities of Wood County reminds all community members that Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk.

Below are MVP tips that help get you and your fellow fans home safely on Super Bowl Sunday.

Hosting a Party

  • Make sure all of your guests have designated a sober driver in advance.
  • If intoxicated, help arrange an alternative way home, or have guests stay the night.
  • Serve food and have plenty non-alcoholic beverage at your party.
  • Stop serving alcohol at the end of the 3rd quarter of the game.
  • Keep the numbers of the local cab companies on hand in case guests need to get home.
  • Take keys away from guests that have had too much to drink.

Attending a Party or Going to a Bar

  • Designate a sober MVP to drive you home after the party.
  • If you don’t have a designated driver, make plans to have a friend or family member pick you up, call a cab, or stay the night.
  • Eat before and during the party.
  • Never let friends drive that have had too much to drink.
  • Always buckle up! It’s your best defense while in a car.

Use these MVP fan tips to help enjoy your Super Bowl Sunday and get home safely because Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk!

For More Information:

  • Jerrod Savidge, 419-352-2481
  • Safe Communities Coordinator, Sandy Wiechman
    419-372-9353 or

Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving

Wood County Safe Communities announced today that there have been 20 fatal crashes in Wood County to date. This is 9 more crashes than last year at this time.

If you plan on celebrating with alcohol this holiday season, plan on a sober driver. Even if you’ve had just a little bit to drink, you can still get a DUI and be involved in a crash. Too many people wait until they’ve been drinking to figure out their ride home. By then, it’s too late to make a clear-headed decision. You might think you’re just “buzzed” and that you’re “okay to drive,” but remember this: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.

If you’re buzzed, you should not be behind the wheel. It can cost you—possibly your life.

Planning ahead is the key to avoiding a DUI or a deadly drunk driving crash. You make plans to attend parties, go to bars or sporting events, or gather with family and friends, so why not plan how to stay alive and out of jail? A sober driver is an essential part of any plan that includes drinking. Law enforcement actively looks for drunk drivers, especially around the holidays. Are you willing to risk a DUI or a fatal crash for the “convenience” of driving yourself home after drinking?

For More Information:

  • Jerrod Savidge, 419-352-2481
  • Safe Communities Coordinator, Sandy Wiechman
    419-372-9353 or