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Increased police presence in Virginia for upcoming holiday weekend

ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - If you are traveling over Labor Day weekend, you will notice more Virginia State Police troopers on the road.

Both stationary and roving patrols will be done as part of Operation Combined Accident Reduction Effort (C.A.R.E) Program

Operation CARE is a nationwide program, state-sponsored program that aims to reduce traffic crashes, fatalities and injuries caused by impaired driving, speeding and failure to use a seat belt.

Participation in the program means troopers will increase visibility and traffic enforcement efforts throughout the Commonwealth beginning Friday morning and continuing through midnight Monday, Sept. 5, 2016.

In addition, AAA says nearly 200 agencies, including Virginia State Police, are participating in this year's Checkpoint Strikeforce, which will have 140 sobriety checkpoints.

"Drunk driving takes a life, on average, every 36 hours in Virginia," Lt. Colonel George L. Daniels Jr., Bureau of Field Operations Director said at a Checkpoint Strikeforce kickoff press conference in Richmond Thursday. "Drunk drivers don't discriminate. They put everyone on the road at risk-a painful and never-ending reality for the families of the 241 people who died in alcohol-related traffic crashes in Virginia last year."

Last year, there were 16 traffic-related deaths in the Commonwealth during Labor Day weekend, up from 11 the year before.

The Virginia DMV estimated that one million Virginians will travel this weekend and most of them will be on the road.

State Police are also reminding drivers to make safety a priority if traveling to and/or from the Hampton Roads region due to Tropical Storm Hermine. Forecasters say there is a serious potential for heavy rains, strong winds, and flooding in the coastal region. Drivers are advised to monitor the weather forecasts throughout the holiday weekend.