Feds award funding to continue OVI crackdown in Mahoning County

The Mahoning County OVI Task Force received federal funding to continue programming.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Mahoning County’s OVI Task Force received federal money to keep targeting impaired driving.

The agency received more than $224,000 from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for equipment and labor costs to conduct sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols.

Assistant Canfield Police Chief Scott Weamer said during fiscal year 2015 91 people were arrested for OVI, 206 summons were issued for driving under suspension, 161 tickets were written for seatbelt violations and officers made 20 felony arrests.

“We are having a positive impact on the impaired driving problem in Mahoning County. But we still have work to do. That is why we are grateful to receive grant funding for the next two years. One alcohol related fatality is too much,” Weamer said.

This is the first of three years in the exit strategy for the task force when it comes to federal funding.

Because Mahoning County is under the threshold for alcohol-related fatalities, they are no longer eligible for grant money. However, the city will still receive full funding for 2016, 75 percent in 2017 and 50 percent in 2018.

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