DUI Taskforce

Background

In 1993 the Ohio Department of Public Safety (ODPS) targeted Franklin County, Ohio for the first ever county-wide DUI Task Force in the state of Ohio. This was based upon the number of alcohol related traffic crash deaths which occurred in the previous year. Twenty-one fatalities ranked Franklin County second highest in the state of Ohio that year.

Franklin County has a population of 1.5 million residents and is 543 square miles. Over a million vehicles are registered in the county. Currently there are nearly 500 habitual offenders (five or more DUI convictions) living in Franklin County.
The Franklin County DUI Task Force was formed to identify and assess the impaired driving problem in Franklin County and to develop an action plan that incorporates both enforcement and education to address the problem.

Over the past years the Task Force has developed highly visible enforcement activities in the form of sobriety checkpoints and county-wide DUI patrols. We understand that enforcement activities when associated with holidays or special events are a great deterrent to drinking and driving.

The Ohio Department of Public Safety (ODPS) and Ohio Traffic Safety Office utilizes federal grant money to fund the county wide task force.

Currently the Task Force is made of all 26 law enforcement agencies and six support groups such as, MADD, Franklin County Municipal Court, Franklin Coounty Engineer's Office and Traffic and Public Safety organizations.

Education

Enforcement is only part of the Task Force activities. Members have included awareness campaign activities as part of their overall DUI program. The Task force developed and distributed several posters.

Task Force members have also donated time to help set up and operate "mock" crashes and checkpoints for such events as Ohio Lifesaver Conference and to kickoff National Sobriety Checkpoint week and You Drink, You Drive, You Lose activities for the past several years.

Task Force members have also worked with both Franklin County and State of Ohio MADD, in Red Ribbon campaign, distributing over 50,000 ribbons and partici­pating in the local candle light vigil.

Member agencies also conduct media events throughout the year. In March the annual "kick-off" event is conducted. Events are also held in connection with the “Click It or Ticket,” and “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”

Sobriety Checkpoints

Since 1993 the Task Force mem­bers have conducted 100 sobriety checkpoints. This has resulted in over 125,000 vehicles passing through the check zones. This resulted in over 500 DUI arrests, and over 2,500 citations issued. Nearly 300 people have been arrested on outstanding warrants, 88 people charged with open containers, and nearly 300 individuals were arrested for other violation including, stolen vehicles, weapons, drugs and open container violations.

DUI Patrols

Task Force member agencies have conducted DUI Patrols. The patrols are conducted in connection with holidays and special events. Since 1993 over 30,000 hours of overtime enforcement has been conducted. Officers have made over 50,000 traffic stops which have resulted in 2,117 DUI arrests (233 under the age of 21) and over 15,500 traffic citations. Officers also made over 144 felony arrests and issued over 15,500 traffic warnings.

Results (2013-2017)

Alcohol Related Crashes in Franklin County

2013   1228
2014   1390
2015   1419
2016   1318
2017   1325

 Alcohol Related Deaths in Franklin County

2013   18
2014   22
2015   20
2016   29
2017   11       

 DUI Arrests in Franklin County

2013   6834
2014   6608
2015   6331
2016   6397
2017   5908

 The success of the Task Force is largely due to the cooperation between its mem­bers in the area of personnel, budget and other resources. When the Task Force is conduct enforcement activities all the agencies faithful­ly assisted one another to insure the checkpoint are safe and the saturation patrols are a success.

The efforts of the DUI Task Force have not gone unnoticed. The Task Force has received:

  • Franklin County MADD Community Service Award
  • Ohio Department of Public Safety Governor's Award
  • National Chief of Police Challenge

Members

  • Bexley Police
  • Blendon Township Police
  • Clinton Township Police
  • Columbus Airport Police
  • Columbus Public Health
  • Columbus Police Department
  • Dublin Police
  • Franklin County Engineer's Office
  • Franklin County Municipal Court
  • Franklin County Safe Communities
  • Franklin County Sheriff's Office
  • Gahanna Police
  • Grandview Heights Police
  • Grove City Police
  • Groveport Police
  • Hilliard Police
  • MADD
  • Madison Township Police
  • Mifflin Township Police
  • Minerva Park Police
  • New Albany Police
  • Obetz Police
  • Ohio Department of Public Safety
  • Ohio Health Injury Prevention
  • Ohio Hispanic Coalition
  • Ohio Investigative Unit
  • Ohio State Highway Patrol
  • Ohio State University Police
  • Perry Township Police
  • Reynoldsburg Police
  • Sharon Township Police
  • Upper Arlington Police
  • Westerville Police
  • Whitehall Police
  • Worthington Police

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Sgt. Scott Downing
sodownin@franklincountyohio.gov