An annual campaign to reduce incidents of drunk driving began in Virginia a week before Labor Day. The Checkpoint Strikeforce campaign increases the presence of law enforcement throughout the state in order to combat alcohol-impaired roadway fatalities. In 2018, Virginia saw a 12% increase in traffic deaths related to alcohol-impaired drivers, and authorities are alarmed that the problem could only get worse during the coming years.
The Checkpoint Strikeforce campaign has been going on for 18 years. In 2019, the state plans to operate 120 checkpoints and 640 saturation patrols to catch as many intoxicated drivers as possible. During Labor Day weekend in 2018, police in the state arrested 72 drunk drivers, which was an average of a DUI arrest every 80 minutes. Part of the campaign for 2019 involves educating young people about the dangers of intoxicated driving.
Law enforcement is focusing more of its efforts on younger drivers in 2019 after a recent study from Lake Research showed that young men age 21 to 35 were most likely to get behind the wheel while intoxicated. While the vast majority of men believe that it’s important to make plans to get home safely when going out for the night, many guys fail to make tangible plans.
Individuals accused of drunk driving during the Checkpoint Strikeforce campaign or any other time of year have the right to legal representation. Once hired, a lawyer can represent their client during hearings, negotiations with prosecutors or during a trial. The goal will be to get charges dismissed or reduced as much as possible.