Virginia law enforcement boosting patrols to stop drunk drivers

More than 1/3 of traffic deaths in America over New Year’s involve drunk drivers

Law enforcement officers are out and about to keep the roads safe.

ROANOKE, Va. – New Year’s Eve is a time to celebrate with friends and family and there’s a statewide initiative to make sure people do that responsibly.

“If one chooses to be out on the road, we will have plenty of law enforcement agents out there to keep our streets safe,” said Gov. Ralph Northam.

Checkpoint Strikeforce is a program that increases the deployment of law enforcement to identify and apprehend drunk driving. It’s also a public education campaign to prevent it.

“This is happening throughout the Commonwealth and it needs to. That’s why we have 116 different law enforcement agencies throughout the commonwealth who are engaged in this,” explained Washington Regional Alcohol Program President Kurt Erickson.

There’s a significant uptick in drunk driving during the holiday season and over a third of traffic deaths in America on New Year’s involves drunk drivers.

“Law enforcement is well aware of it and that’s one of the reasons they’re going to be out there in force today, tonight and also tomorrow,” said Erickson.

In Roanoke, police continue to crack down on impaired driving.

“About 23 law enforcement agencies in Roanoke conducting half a dozen sobriety checkpoints these last two weeks of this month. In addition, almost 100, the exact number is 88 saturation patrols,” the Roanoke Police Department told 10 News in a statement.

As Virginians get ready to ring in 2022. Governor Northam has one more request for 2021.

“Drink and party and enjoy the holidays responsibly but don’t put yourself or others at risk,” he said.

About the Author:

Alyssa Rae grew up in Roanoke and graduated from Virginia Tech. An avid sports fan, she spent her first 8 years in TV as a sports anchor and reporter.