RICHMOND, Va. -- Members of Virginia law enforcement were out in full force over the holidays, working to keep the roadways safe from drunk drivers.
The Virginia State Police and Richmond Police are just two of the numerous agencies that participated in campaigns aimed at keeping people safe on the roadways from drunk and dangerous drivers.
VSP took part in a "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign as well as a Crash Awareness and Reduction effort campaign, both of which included more troopers on patrol and checkpoints.
Central Virginia saw an increase of 22 crashes over the holiday compared to the same time last year, according to VSP. Police also said that fatal crashes were down and they issued 38 summons for drunk driving.
"They, on average, were making arrests every seven-and-a-half hours just in Central Virginia and that doesn't include the nearly 120 other law enforcement agencies engaged in the state," Kurt Erikson, the president of Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP), said.
Richmond Police also participated in the "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign and said that 13% of those who were pulled over were issued a summons. RPD said the majority of summons were issued for suspended or no driver's license, expired registration or inspection, texting while driving or outstanding warrants.
Organizations that advocate against drunk driving said these numbers serve as a reminder of why it's so important for law enforcement agencies to take part in these types of campaigns.
"The campaigns are paying dividends. Since the campaign was started back in 2002 nationally we’ve seen alcohol traffic crashes go down 40% down, the number of drunk driver injuries cut in half," Erikson said.
Officials urged drivers to remember that the threat of drunk driving accidents persists even though the holidays are over. They said most of these accidents happen at night and on the weekend.
They emphasized the importance of using a designated driver or rideshare apps to remain safe on the road.