Checkpoint Strikeforce underway in Virginia to combat drunken driving

Campaign runs through Labor Day weekend

By Colter Anstaett - Reporter

ROANOKE, Va. - We're tracking where deadly drunken driving crashes happened across Virginia between 2014 and 2018.

As the years progress, Richmond, Norfolk and cities near the nation's capitol see consistently high numbers -- around nine or 10 such crashes a year.

Southwest Virginia was on the lower end of these crashes - with Pittsylvania County being an outlier with six or seven deadly crashes a year.

A campaign is underway in Virginia to put the brakes on drunk driving.

This is the 18th year for the Checkpoint Strikeforce campaign.

Law enforcement agencies will be stepping up patrols through Labor Day weekend and ads will be running on TV to encourage people not to drink and drive. 

Last year in Virginia, more than one-third of all traffic deaths were alcohol related.

Nearly 20,000 people were convicted of driving under the influence.

Despite the numbers, organizers of the campaign say research shows it is working.

"I'm really hoping that last year was somewhat of an anomaly because clearly, over the last two decades, these numbers have been going down," Checkpoint Strikeforce campaign's Kurt Erickson said.

"We've seen some gains from this campaign. Last year, specifically, we had double-digit gains on people planning ahead, feeling it's important to plan ahead and making a conscious decision about planning ahead before they go out."

To view the TV ad, click here.

Copyright 2019 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.