This repost from the old blog is a conversation I had with city councilman Ed Hastie. I don’t have any current data on OVI rates, but I’m assuming that Grandview has continued to have the same high rate of arrest for drunk drivers in the city that it had in 2009.
One change in Grandview that might make it even more of a OVI trap is the addition of bars to the Grandview Yard development. The new Hofbrauhaus seems like it would be a bonanza for cops waiting to bust drivers leaving the parking lot. My experience with the place is that it doesn’t really encourage hard drinking, the crowds and high prices drinks were not drunk friendly. I can’t even say I saw a single drunk person, there were people standing on benches, but if they were tipsy they would have ended on the floor. Things might change when the patio that is being built is opened next year.
Reading through the gripping meeting notes of the Dec. council meeting, I came across this interesting little FYI from member Ed Hastie:
…Hastie commented that in reviewing statistics on OVI violations, the City of Columbus averages eleven (11) OVI’s per square mile and the City of Grandview Heights averages sixty-four (64). The City is by far the highest in the County … Hastie encouraged everyone to take a cab.
That’s a big jump in the OVI rate, something unusual is going on here in Grandview. I decided to go to the source and ask what Ed knew about these numbers.
JW: Where did you get the stats on OVI in the county?
EH: I was citing stats from an article in a magazine my friend edits. I’m sure its fairly easy to find the number of OVIs (OVI is the new “in” term with the legislature) in each municipality and then divide it by the square miles.
JW: Why do you think that Grandview has such a high number of OVIs?
EH: (1) Density: I don’t necessarily think Grandview has an abnormally high number considering that square mile figures are bound to be skewed in a place that is 1.42 sq. miles and monitors high traffic areas like 33. The bulk of our OVI’s happen on the edges of GH (33, 5th, Goodale). I’m sure if you took high traffic areas in Columbus the numbers would be comparable (315, Lane, High Street, etc). We have a heighten number of people who use 33/Goodale to travel through Grandview from Arena district and Short North.
(2) More Police: More observation leads to more arrests. The NHSTA cites a study that says each OVI offender drove 80 times (yes, that’s the right figure) under the influence in the year leading up the arrest. So the VAST majority of Drunk Drivers go uncaught. We have more police out in a small area, hence more arrest.
JW: Is it better enforcement? Or more residents who drink and drive?
EH: I doubt its GH residents that make up the bulk of the offenders.
JW: Is there something about Grandview that attracts outsiders to drink here, then drive? Maybe lax enforcement by the bars of cutting people off who drink at Grandview bars?
EH: I think more people drink elsewhere and happen to pass through Grandview (or Grandview Patrolled areas) on the way home. The vast majority of watering holes in the area are in Columbus, So I don’t think its GH bars per se. As far as lax enforcement by the bars – I don’t see these bars as a problem. I have watched people get cut off (or not even served) at several of the places in the area. The majority of my practice is representing bars, restaurants, and wineries. They have an IMMENSE amount to loose if they over serve and look the other way. I hope I was able to answer your questions. I’m always available to discuss.
What is a city council member doing at several bars in Grandview? Inspecting * the city? 😉
I think Mr. Hastie’s job representing alcohol serving establishments might bias his observation about cutting patrons off, but it does ring true from what I have seen. Bars in Grandview will not risk their licenses in a residential area that does not put up with drunks in the streets.
Both Goodale and 33 are frequent locations for the OVI busts listed in the police beat reports in the papers. They are probably considered “safe routes” for late night return drives from bars, who knows how the minds of drunk drivers work, but they could conclude that the freeway would be more highly patrolled.
So my conclusion is – Grandview is an OVI trap. Drunk drivers beware. Use the designated driver system. Or just stay in your own neighborhood and walk, there is no shortage of bars in the metro area.
*Columbus had a Mayor named Tom Moody (he served from 1972 to 1984) who was found with his car wrapped around a pole at 3AM on Cleveland Ave. As I remember the incident, he was able to use his status as Mayor to avoid taking an alcohol test, but it was assumed by everyone that it was the cause of the accident. When Moody was asked why he was out so late driving so far from home, he famously replied “I was inspecting the city”. This became a catch-phrase for drinkers, any time we would go out to hit bars we would say we were “out to do some city inspection”.
(From Grandview Watch, 2009)