Operation Wolf Pack Designed to Get Impaired Drivers off Cuyahoga County Roads CLEVELAND, Aug. 13 /EMWNews/ -- Over the past five years, 137 people were killed and nearly 4,500 were injured in 6,948 alcohol-related crashes in Cuyahoga County. An astonishing 41 percent of the 332 traffic fatalities in our county from 2003-2007 were alcohol-related so finding more effective ways to keep impaired drivers off our roadways is key to improving traffic safety. The 45 member agencies of the Cuyahoga County DUI Reduction Task Force are joining together this month in a cooperative effort to send the message loud and clear to Northeast Ohioans: law enforcement officers will not tolerate drunk driving on our roadways and they'll be out in force to catch you if you drive impaired. No matter where you are in the county, impaired drivers won't be able to avoid Operation Wolf Pack, which launches Friday, August 15. Operation Wolf Pack, which is funded through a grant from the Ohio Department of Public Safety, is part of the nationwide Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest. crackdown. The 45 law enforcement agencies joining forces in the effort will combine impaired driving checkpoints and saturation patrols every Friday and Saturday night through Labor Day weekend. At sobriety checkpoints, law enforcement officers stop vehicles in a predetermined sequence (such as every other vehicle or every fifth vehicle) and briefly evaluate drivers for indications of alcohol or drug impairment. Saturation patrols, in contrast, involve increased enforcement targeting a specific geographic area to identify and arrest impaired drivers, with officers looking for signs of impaired driving, like excessive speeding, weaving, or driving left of center. Between 75 and 100 officers will assist in the countywide enforcement activities each weekend. The sites selected for enforcement are carefully targeted to high-risk areas that have been the scenes of previous alcohol-related incidents. You might think that having a few drinks doesn't affect your driving abilities, but when you reach Ohio's legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit of .08, driver reaction time, visual function, information processing and judgment are seriously impaired-even if you don't feel drunk. "There's simply no excuse for driving impaired," said Commander Mark Kwiatkowski of the Bedford Heights Police Department, speaking on behalf of the Cuyahoga County DUI Task Force. "If you make the selfish and irresponsible choice to get behind the wheel after drinking, you risk your own safety and that of everyone else on the road with you, you risk thousands of dollars in fines and court costs, and you risk a black mark on your record that can affect your future job prospects. If you're not smart enough to stop yourself, rest assured that we'll stop you." Over the three weekends of Operation Wolf Pack, a different location has been designated as the base of operations each night, with a briefing scheduled for officers and the media each evening. The media are welcome and will be accommodated at each night's event. If requested, rides with officers during their patrols will also be facilitated. We urge you to come out to the locations listed on the following page and help get the message out to the public that if motorists have been drinking, they should not drive. The following areas have been targeted for the Wolf Pack details: Friday, August 15 -- I-480 / SR 42 / Rockside Rd. - The briefing will begin at 9:30 pm at the Cleveland sobriety checkpoint on Dennison at 38th St.; six police departments will be working the detail at this location. -- Richmond Rd. - Euclid and South Euclid police departments will be conducting checkpoints and seven departments will be conducting saturation patrols in support of the this detail. Saturday, August 16 -- I-271 / Mayfield Rd. / Euclid Ave. / Cedar Rd. - The briefing will begin at 11:00 pm at the Cleveland sobriety checkpoint on Euclid Ave. at Arabella; six police departments will be working the detail at this location. Friday, August 22 -- I-480 / Columbia Rd. - The briefing will begin at 10:30 pm at the Olmsted Falls sobriety checkpoint on Columbia Rd. one mile south of I-480; eight police departments will be working the detail at this location. -- I-480 and I-271 - Maple Heights Police Department will conduct a checkpoint and nine police departments will be conducting saturation patrols in support of the detail. Saturday, August 23 -- I-480 / Broadway - The briefing will begin at 10:30 pm at the Garfield Heights sobriety checkpoint on Turney Rd. at Crofton; six police departments will be working the detail at this location. -- Rockside / I-480 / SR-42 - Seven Hills Police Department will be conducting a sobriety checkpoint and eight police departments will conduct saturation patrols in support of the detail. Friday, August 29 -- Miles Rd. / I-480 / Aurora Rd. - The briefing will begin at 10:30 pm at the Bedford Heights sobriety checkpoint on Miles Rd. at I-480; the Euclid and Lyndhurst Police Departments will be conducting sobriety checkpoints and eleven police departments will conduct saturation patrols in support of the detail. -- Rt. 82 / Bagley Rd. - North Royalton and Berea police departments will be conducting checkpoints and nine departments will be conducting saturation patrols in support of the detail. Saturday, August 30 -- Pearl Rd. / I-71 / Snow Rd. / Brook Park Rd. - The briefing will begin at 9:00 pm at the Parma Heights sobriety checkpoint on Pearl Rd.; Parma will be conducting a checkpoint and six departments will be conducting saturation patrols in support of the detail. -- I-90 / Lorain Rd. / Lake Ave. - The Cleveland Police Department will be conducting a checkpoint and six departments will be conducting saturation patrols in support of the detail at this location. The Cuyahoga County DUI Task Force is a multi-jurisdictional coalition of 45 law enforcement agencies dedicated to making Northeast Ohio roads safer for all of us; the task force is part of the Greater Cleveland Safe Communities Coalition, led by University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital.
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