By Wayne Allen
December 29, 2013
PDT Staff Writer
Editor’s note: This is the first installment in a series examining the issues surrounding alcohol and the impact it has on the individual, family, economy and law enforcement.
The Ohio Department of Public Safety (ODPS) announced this week they have made enhancements to the state’s database of those who have been convicted of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs (OVI).
The ODPS launched this week an enhanced registry of people who have been convicted at least five times of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and meet certain other criteria established by law.
By automating what had been a paper-driven process, ODPS and the Ohio State Highway Patrol have produced a more up-to-date, complete and searchable listing of habitual offenders.
In a released statement the ODPS said the registry no longer relies on local court jurisdictions to submit forms to add a habitual offender to the registry. The new system compiles the information automatically from already existing electronic records.
According to the registry, Scioto County has 59 habitual offenders with several residents having as many as eight offenses in the last 20 years. Lawrence County has 32 habitual offenders with several residents having as many as eight offenses in the last 20 years.
Adams County has 27 habitual offenders with some residents having as many as seven or eight offenses. Pike County has the lowest number of habitual offenders in the region with 18. Some Pike County habitual offenders have as many as seven offenses.
Since the law was passed creating the registry, those listed on it have five or more convictions during the past 20 years, with at least one of the convictions since Sept. 30, 2008 when the law took effect.
According to OSPS, the registry does not include convictions more than 20 years old. The registry does not include deceased people.
The registry does not include out-of-state convictions. Juvenile offenses are included. If a single incident results in multiple impaired driving-related convictions, it is counted as one conviction for purposes of this registry.
The registry can be accessed at https://ext.dps.state.oh.us/omvi/.
According to ODPS, the holiday season can be one of the most dangerous times of the year on the road due to an increase in impaired driving.
OSPS is encouraging drivers that see dangerous, impaired drivers or drug activity to call #677 to report the incident.
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Wayne on Twitter @WayneallenPDT.