SIDNEY — The Shelby County Sheriff’s office is preparing to launch a new initiative against driving under the influence.
Starting next week, they will launch three billboard designs listing the number of heroin overdose deaths from the past five years and warning against the misuse of drugs and alcohol.
Jeff Droesch, of Fort Loramie, has seen the damage driving under the influence can have. He lost his wife eight years ago to a head-on collision due to another driver’s drunk and drugged driving, killing all three people involved.
“I started this out for prom season,” Droesch said. “When you get behind the wheel with alcohol and start driving, it’s substantial.”
Sheriff John Lenhart has known Droesch and his daughter for many years.
“Jeff came to me a couple weeks ago and shared the loss and hollow spot in his and his daughter’s life,” Lenhart said. “We want to keep people from drinking and driving.”
According to the sheriff’s statistics, there were 167 arrests last year because of driving under the influence, 181 fatalities in the state, and three fatalities in Shelby County. Beyond that, 6,503 people were injured by driving under the influence in Ohio, with 10 percent of that number under 20 years old. Last year the sheriff’s office responded to six parties because of underage drinking, DUIs and drug use.
“We’d rather not go to any parties this year without a proper invitation,” Lenhart said. “Driving under the influence and hurting someone else will affect not only your life, but their life.”
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