Virginia continues Checkpoint Strikeforce campaign
RICHMOND, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The 18th annual Checkpoint Strikeforce campaign and enforcement effort on Virginia's roads will occur through the end of 2019.
The checkpoints are used to spread awareness and combat the rise in deaths from distracted and drunk driving, according to a press release.
"We want everyone to enjoy their New Year's celebrations, but it's important that you do so without putting yourself or others in danger on our roadways," said Governor Ralph Northam. "I urge all Virginians to designate a sober driver, call a friend, or take advantage of public transportation and taxi and rideshare services. We also thank our law enforcement professionals for their hard work this holiday season. This effort is about reducing impaired driving and saving lives."
The release stated 278 people in Virginia lost their lives as a result of alcohol-impaired driving in 2018, almost 34 percent of all traffic fatalities that year.
Ninety law enforcement agencies across the Commonwealth, which includes local and Virginia State Police, are operating 82 checkpoints and 730 saturation patrols this holiday season in partnership with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" mobilization efforts, according to the release.
The Washington Regional Alcohol Program, funded by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, is a nonprofit organization that serves as the project director for Virginia's Checkpoint Strikeforce campaign.
"Law enforcement professionals are on our roads every day of the year to protect citizens, and we need people to do their part during one of the busiest and most heavily-traveled times of the holiday season," said Washington Regional Alcohol Program President and CEO Kurt Erickson. "Together, these increased patrols and advertising campaigns work to raise awareness, deter would-be drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel, and prevent unnecessary tragedy."
The Checkpoint Strikeforce is also running an advertising campaign called "Act Like It."
The 30-second advertisement reminds viewers that drinking and driving is irresponsible and get a sober ride home.