COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The Ohio State Highway Patrol is among the agencies that will be patrolling the roads the night of St. Patrick’s Day and all weekend looking for impaired drivers.

On March 17 over the past five years, impaired driving accounted for 219 crashes, 128 injuries and 10 deaths. And if the risk of a crash or injury isn’t enough, a drunk driving conviction is also costly, Sgt. Tyler Ross said.

“5,000 to 8,000 dollars; that’s average,” Ross said. “That doesn’t include if you’re going to go for a higher-tier OVI or an attorney. That number’s only going to go up. That’s on a first offense. … That’s a stark reminder. That’s going to affect your job, your family and everything about your life over a decision you made to not spend $100 to get home.”

Earlier this week, Columbus police rolled out a “DUI interceptor” vehicle equipped with a breath-testing device. 

“The vehicle [is] meant to make people think twice about driving after they’ve been drinking, knowing that if they do drive impaired, they will be charged,” Columbus police Sgt. Adam Barton said.

In addition to St. Patrick’s Day falling on a Friday, this year in Columbus it coincides with the NCAA men’s basketball tournament at Nationwide Arena, the women’s tournament at the Schottenstein Center and the Columbus International Auto Show at the convention center.