Officials urge sober driving New Year’s Eve weekend

432 Virginians were injured in alcohol related crashes last holiday season

ROANOKE, VADrive sober or get pulled over - that’s what state police and other agencies are trying to drive home this holiday season.

The campaign is put on by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration every December in hopes of saving lives during the holidays.

Polly Trottenberg, Deputy Secretary at the U.S. Department of Transportation, wants people to remember that it impacts real people when they get behind the wheel impaired.

“Something I have always said is these people are not just statistics. I know this is personal for many in this room. These are family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, fellow Americans,” Trottenberg said.

Here in Virginia, Governor Youngkin is joining the campaign for the holidays.

His office found between Thanksgiving of 2022 and New Year’s Day, 432 Virginians were injured, and 23 lost their lives because of alcohol-related crashes.

Molly Jackson is the Marketing Coordinator for YOVASO, or Youth of Virginia Speak Out About Traffic Safety.

She said when in doubt, find a ride home.

“Do not get behind the wheel. It is really important not to get behind the wheel because we have seen a lot of fatalities this year,” Jackson said.

She told 10 News there’s no reason to get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking.

“Call a family member, use public transportation, or call a cab,” she said.

She said even if you haven’t been drinking, you should be extra road aware during this next week.

“You could be traveling home and people have been out drinking all day because they are off or are out of school, so they are not being safe on the roadways, so it’s important to always wear your seatbelt and be alert,” she said.

If you’re in the Lynchburg area, Bee Line Towing Company is providing free rides from 11 a.m. until 2 a.m., and you can use the service as long as you live within a 20-mile radius of their Lynchburg office.

About the Author

Abbie Coleman officially joined the WSLS 10 News team in January 2023.

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