Drunk driving arrests up by 500

Troopers made 503 more arrests this March than last year.

On a mission to deter the rising traffic crash fatalities in Ohio, the State Highway Patrol says troopers are more focused on removing impaired drivers than ever before.

Through March of this year, troopers have arrested 503 more drivers for OVI, Operating a Vehicle while Intoxicated, than during the same period in 2011.

While OVI-related fatal crashes have gone down this year, the patrol says impaired drivers continually kill too many people on Ohio's roadways. In 2011, impaired drivers were responsible for 40 percent of 949 fatal crashes.

View: 2011 fatal crash map

"We can't fight the battle against impaired driving on our own--We need your commitment to make our roads safer," said Lt. Dean Laubacher. "You can contribute to a safer Ohio by actively influencing friends and family to make safe, responsible decisions--like planning ahead to designate a driver and insisting that everyone in the vehicle is buckled up."

The public can call #677 to report impaired drivers or drug activity.