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Virginia kicks off campaign to crack down on drunk driving

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Posted at 7:24 PM, Aug 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-26 19:24:22-04

RICHMOND, Va.—Governor Northam kicked off the Commonwealth’s annual campaign to combat drunk driving on Monday.

The Checkpoint Strikeforce campaign focuses on increasing the visibility of law enforcement on Virginia roads to combat alcohol-impaired traffic fatalities.

Modified to address safety and health concerns, the 19th annual campaign began Wednesday, August 26 and will last through Labor day. It will resume periodically around key holidays like Halloween, Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve.

“This has been a challenging year, and now more than ever, we are all focused on keeping our loved ones safe,” said Governor Northam. “I am asking Virginians to apply the same collective action and shared responsibility that we have harnessed to stop the spread of COVID-19 to reverse the trends of drunk driving.

Last year, 31% of traffic fatalities in Virginia were alchol-related crashes and 18, 648 people were arrested for DUIs. During Labor weekend alone, Virginia State Police arrested 76 drunk drivers, averaging a DUI arrest every 75 minutes.

“The work of Checkpoint Strikeforce is a critical part of our efforts to reduce the number of fatalities on Virginia’s roads, and the message is simple: if you are old enough to drink, act like it—never get behind the wheel after you have been drinking.”

Since the first Virginia’s Checkpoint Strikeforce campaign in 2002, alcohol-impaired traffic fatalities in the Commonwealth have reduced by more than 25% and the number of alcohol-impaired traffic injuries annually occurring on the Virginia’s roadways have been nearly cut in half.