Drunk Driver

What is OVI?

OVI is an acronym for Operating a Vehicle Impaired.  Formerly known as DWI, DUI OMVI or drunk driving, the OHIO General Assembly changed the statute to OVI in January 2005 to more accurately reflect the actual scope of the offense since it doesn't necessarily require "driving" or that the "operation" be in a "motor vehicle."
Alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes kill someone every 31 minutes and nonfatally injure someone every two minutes (NHTSA 2006).

Occurrence and Consequences

  • During 2005, 16,885 people in the U.S. died in alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes, representing 39% of all traffic-related deaths (NHTSA 2006)
  • In 2005, nearly 1.4 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics (Department of Justice 2005).  That’s less than one percent of the 159 million self-reported episodes of alcohol-impaired driving among U.S. adults each year (Quinlan et al. 2005)
  • Drugs and other than alcohol (e.g. marijuana and cocaine) are involved in about 18% of motor vehicle driver deaths.  These other drugs are generally used in combination with alcohol (Jones et al. 2003)
  • More than half of the 414 child passengers ages 14 and younger who died in alcohol-related crashes during 2005 were riding with the drinking driver (NHTSA 2006).
  • In 2005, 48 children age 14 years and younger who were killed as pedestrians or pedal cyclists were struck by impaired drivers (NHTSA 2006)

Together we can reach our goal of decreasing OVI-related fatalities and injuries.  These are tragedies that don’t need to happen.  Do your part to take a stand against impaired driving this holiday season and throughout the year.

  • Report suspected impaired drivers to your state or local police by dialing 9-1-1.
  • Be sure to get the license plate number and description of the vehicle.
  • Be a positive role model for youth.


  • In Medina Township:  Medina Township Police Department - 330-723-5191
  • Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) at 214-744-MADD
  • Remove Intoxicated Drivers (RID) at 518-372-0034
  • Students Against Driving Drunk (SADD) at 508-481-3568
  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) at 202-366-9588

Misconceptions about alcohol and its effects on safe driving are widespread. Knowing the truth may mean the difference between life and death.


Myth: "Alcohol is a stimulant."
Fact: Alcohol is a depressant.  It acts on the central nervous system like an anesthetic to lower or depress the activity of your brain.

Myth: “I’m bigger so I can handle my liquor better.”
Fact: Size is only one factor in how much you can drink.  Metabolism, amount of rest, and food intake all play a part in how you handle liquor.  Impairment in motor reflexes and judgment can begin with the first drink.

Myth: “I’ll just drive slower.”
Fact: Many people do, believing they actually compensate for being impaired by creeping along at 22 mph.  This can be very dangerous.  Others race along at 75 mpg.  The truth is, impaired drivers are unsafe at any speed.

Myth: “A drink or two makes me a better driver.”
Fact: Even small amounts of alcohol can impair your judgment and put you and
others on the road at risk of death or disabling injury.

Myth: White wine is a good choice for a person who wants a light drink with less alcohol.
Fact: A glass of white or red wine, a bottle of beer, and a shot of whiskey or other distilled spirits all contain equivalent amounts of alcohol and are the same to a Breathalyzer.

Myth: Switching between beer, wine and spirits will lead to intoxication more
quickly than sticking to one type of alcohol beverage.
Fact: The level of blood alcohol content (BA) is what determines sobriety or
intoxication.  Remember that a standard drink of beer, wine, or spirits contain equivalent amounts of alcohol.  Alcohol is alcohol and a drink is a drink.

Myth: Drinking coffee will help a drunk person sober up.
Fact: Only TIME can sober up a person… not black coffee, cold showers, exercise, or any other common “cures.”  Alcohol leaves the body of virtually everyone at a constant rate of about .015 percent of blood alcohol content (BAC) per hour.  Thus, a person with a BAC of .015 would be completely sober ion an hour while a person with a BAC of ten times that (.15) would require 10 hours to become completely sober.  This is true regardless of sex, age, weight, and similar factors.

Alcohol slows reflexes, impairs coordination and interferes with concentration.  That’s why many responsible people use the designated-driver method of road safety.  It’s simple:  One person in your party has only non-alcoholic drinks and is the driver for the night.  Don’t let intoxicated guests drive.  Send them home with a friend, in taxi or invite them to spend the night.