Lynchburg heading in wrong direction when it comes to drunk driving

Advocates against drunken driving say Lynchburg DUI injuries went up 33 percent

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Lynchburg police Officer Nate Hertzog will be one of the officers looking out for impaired drivers during holiday celebrations.

“The biggest sign we see a lot are drivers all over the road. They may sometimes stay in their lane, but they kind of look like they’re bouncing back and forth,” Hertzog said.

Kurt Erickson, with the Checkpoint Strikepoint organization, did a radio interview with WFIR Thursday morning. He said DUI crashes and fatalities have gone down across the commonwealth, but DUI injuries have increased, especially in areas like Lynchburg.

“Drunk driving injuries didn’t just go up slightly. They went up by 33 percent. So we’re living in a commonwealth where nearly 19,000 persons are annually convicted of drunk driving. This is far from one battle. Stepped-up efforts will definitely be happening between now and New Year’s,” Erickson said.

“We do have a checkpoint that is planned with Campbell County between Christmas and New Year's time period,” Hertzog said.

Looking back at data from Dec. 1 to the New Year, Lynchburg police said they've seen a decrease in DUI arrests.

“In 2016, we had 26 DUIs during that time. The same time period during 2017, we only saw 17. So one would hope those numbers are going down as we are seeing with those number of arrests,” Hertzog said.

To see DUI numbers in your area go to this website https://www.dmv.virginia.gov/safety/.

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