Oklahoma County Sheriff Talks Extra Patrols, Safety During Thanksgiving Weekend

Wednesday, November 23rd 2022, 5:12 pm

By: Chris Yu

With millions hitting the road and others lining up for holiday shopping, the Thanksgiving weekend can be hectic across the country. 

An Oklahoma County Sheriff talked to News 9 about keeping intoxicated drivers off the roads and other ways to stay safe.

Sheriff Tommie Johnson III said there will be extra patrols looking for erratic driving patterns during the holiday weekend 

"We have people out in areas, high visibility. They'll be performing a lot of traffic stops just to ensure our motoring public are safe," Johnson said.

According to the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office, over the course of Thanksgiving weekend in 2020, from Nov. 25 through Nov. 29, there were 486 crashes involving 1,179 people. Of those crashes, 34 were related to alcohol or drugs, killing two people.

"Thanksgiving is a holiday where we tend to see a spike in intoxicated driving," Johnson said. "And it's just because you got family around each other, friends, loved ones. They gather. Many travel from all over the nation to one place to see each other. So they really celebrate each other, and love each other, and love each other hard. And this is just part of it. But we say, there are tons of options out there and drunk driving is not one of them. And we stand firm on that statement here at the Sheriff's Office."

Johnson urged people who have been drinking to explore other options, like ride-shares and taxis. But alcohol is not the only concern.

"People think that having the medical marijuana card grants them the exemption to operate a motor vehicle, and that is not the case either," Johnson said. "You cannot operate a motor vehicle in the state of Oklahoma intoxicated."

Safety concerns extend beyond the roadways during this time of year. Johnson advised people to be vigilant on Black Friday.

"Thefts go up through the roof because we have people that tend to leave gifts, high-priced items, purses, electronics in their vehicles," Johnson said. 

In addition to taking purchased items out of vehicles, Johnson recommended that people travel in groups and shop during the day on Black Friday. 

Furthermore, scammers tend to target people during the holiday season. Johnson said anyone who is suspicious of an offer or threat to call the Sheriff's Office at 405-713-1000.


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