We have been critical of Ohio's lax laws when it comes to dealing with drunk driving offenders some of whom continue to be able to get behind the wheel of a car after multiple offenses.
However, we are happy to praise those on the front lines of the battle against drunk drivers the state Highway Patrol.
Ohio is on pace to have the lowest total of deaths on state highways in 64 years, a decrease the Highway Patrol attributes to aggressive action to stop drunken drivers, in addition to an increased use of seat belts and air bags.
As of the last week of 2006, about 1,200 people were killed in accidents, the fewest since 1,331 died in 1942. The state had a population of about 7 million then, compared to today's 11.5 million. In rural, unincorporated parts of Ohio, there was a marked drop off in deaths 817, compared to 925 in 2005.
It appears efforts by law enforcement officials, both in education and enforcement, is playing a large role in the reduction of crashes. More traffic checkpoints has lead to more arrests troopers were on pace to top last year's mark of more than 25,000, as of November.
These positive developments do not mean law enforcement officials, or law makers, can become complacent. Ohio still needs tougher standards, such as increased jail time, to curb the prevalence of repeat drunk driving offenders. And the state Highway Patrol must work hard to keep these numbers down.
But it is comforting to know Ohio's roads are at least a little bit safer today.