Think you can drive drunk and avoid the cops this weekend? Think again.
Not even 15 minutes after our interview, Parma Police Officer Mike Tellings had his sirens going. The driver he pulled over wasn't a drunk driver, but a 16-year-old traveling 53 mph in a 35 mph zone.
"There's no way that if anybody pulled out of the drive or came out of the side street that she would be able to stop in that time," said Officer Tellings.
Alcohol could've only made the situation worse which is why police across the country are cracking down on neglectful or reckless drivers, on the hunt for the drunk ones. It's part of a national campaign targeting drunk driving called, "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over."
If you've heard the slogan before, that's most likely where you got it from, But not so much a coincidence is the time frame for this campaign, which started mid-August and is expected to last through the Labor Day Weekend.
Officer Tellings, one of the Parma officers patrolling to get those drunk drivers off the road this weekend said in a ride along Friday, "…there's a lot, a lot of different reasons we can stop you to see if you've been driving drunk."
We were also with Tellings as he pulled over two other drivers. None of them were guilty of OVI but Telling said as busy as we were chasing down those violators, it'll be even busier Friday and Saturday night.
"Today's Friday night, they're going to start early," said Officer Tellings admitting Labor Day Weekend isn't exactly a holiday police look forward to working.
When it comes to the drunk drivers, Tellings said there's plenty of signs: vehicles swaying, off center, not using signals. "My 28 years on the police department and again being with the traffic unit," said Tellings, "I've seen a lot of accidents and I'm going to say at least 90% of them is related to drunk drivers."
In Parma alone, Telling said there's up to five additional police officers patrolling the streets for the holiday weekend and you can expect to see that increase everywhere as departments across the country participate in the national campaign.
Hoping this will help stop those drinking from taking the wheel, Tellings said, "Drunk driving, all it takes, is one time. One time you hit a pedestrian, one time you kill someone and your life is changed forever. So that's one mistake, probably, hopefully, people don't want to make."