Local Police and Roanoke Prevention - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Local Police and Roanoke Prevention Alliance aim to reduce number of DUI related deaths

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2012 marked the fifth straight year deaths related to drunk driving dropped in Virginia.

Last year, they were down six percent.

Locally, police have been cracking down on drunk drivers.

The Roanoke City Police Department teamed up with the Roanoke Prevention Alliance and Virginia ABC in March to get drunk drivers off the roads.                      

A Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive grant has allowed the department to have two extra sobriety check points since March.

There's also been more saturation patrols, allowing officers to look specifically for signs of drunk driving while on duty.

The department has made a little over 300 DUI arrests this year.

After months of research, the alliance determined that 21-24 year olds were involved in the most alcohol related accidents in the Roanoke area. They also discovered that downtown and Williamson Road are the two locations where the most accidents occur.

Ray Bemis of the Roanoke Prevention Alliance says there will be extra officers patrolling on both Halloween and Thanksgiving.

The extra police presence is just one way the grant is working to reduce the number of DUI related deaths.

To discourage heavy drinking, the prevention alliance has also been monitoring the web sites of local restaurants. They are looking for online advertisements of happy hour or drinking specials, which violates Virginia ABC's regulations.

The alliance has already found multiple local restaurants that have violated that policy and reported them to ABC.

Finally, the alliance is using a media campaign which encourages people to "make a plan" before you go out. That way you have a sure way of getting home safely.


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