The Ohio State Highway Patrol attributes a crackdown on drunken driving to the increase in arrests statewide last year.
The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that troopers in 2012 arrested 24,520 suspected drunken or impaired drivers, a 3 percent increase over 2011.
Also in 2012, crashes that involved drunken drivers totalled more than 12,100, a 14-percent increase over the previous year. In those crashes, 431 people were killed and more than 7,000 were injured.
Lieutenant Bill Haymaker, commander of the Medina post of the State Highway Patrol tells AkronNews Now many of the accidents are being caused by repeat offenders. " It's a common thing to come across a person who is at their second or third or even more OVI offenses, in the last couple of years."
Haymaker says the Patrol has been stepping up it's enforcement. " We try to target those areas where drinkng and driving is more prevelant. We try to increase the number of troopers in those areas working together in a combined effort."
Haymaker says the Patrol is working more closely with surrounding city police departments to stop impaired drivers.
Lieutenant Haymaker says toiugher penalties, especially for repeat offenders, could help to discourage drinking and driving
The Patrol says drunken or impaired drivers were responsible for more than 40 percent of all fatal accidents in 2012.