Statewide Checkpoint Strikeforce Campaign Aims to Reduce Holiday-Related Impaired Driving
116 Virginia law enforcement agencies join forces to stop drunk driving this holiday season
RICHMOND, VA (STL.News) Governor Ralph Northam continued Virginia’s public education campaign and enforcement effort to spread awareness and deter drunk driving during the holiday season. The Checkpoint Strikeforce campaign combines law enforcement with research-based messaging to remind Virginians to make responsible decisions when drinking.
“Keep your family, your community, and yourself safe by not drinking and driving this holiday season,” said Governor Northam. “You can always designate a sober driver, call a taxi, or use public transportation and rideshare services. We owe our thanks to law enforcement professionals for keeping people safe this holiday season. Together, we can reduce impaired driving and save lives.”
In 2020, Virginia lost 272 lives in alcohol-related crashes. Since Checkpoint Strikeforce’s inaugural campaign in 2001, alcohol-related crashes have decreased 41.2 percent, fatalities have decreased by 24 percent, and injuries have decreased by half.
“The holidays traditionally pose an increased risk for fatalities involving alcohol-impaired driving,” said Richard D. Holcomb, Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles and the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative. “Our goal is to ensure each and every Virginian gets home safely to their families this holiday season. Between Thanksgiving 2020 and New Year’s Day 2021 alone, 14 Virginians lost their lives in alcohol-related crashes. Our message is simple: as you celebrate with loved ones this holiday season, don’t put lives at risk by getting behind the wheel after drinking.”
Virginia State Police will work through the holidays as part of Operation CARE – the Crash Awareness Reduction Effort. CARE is a nationwide, state-sponsored traffic safety program that aims to reduce traffic crashes, fatalities and injuries caused by impaired driving, speeding and failing to use seatbelts.
116 Virginia law enforcement agencies will participate in the holiday wave of Virginia’s Checkpoint Strikeforce campaign from December 15 through New Year’s Day. Law enforcement officers will increase the police presence in high-risk areas and establish 55 sobriety checkpoints across the Commonwealth.
Complementing the high visibility enforcement, Checkpoint Strikeforce is running a surround-sound ad campaign called “Act Like It.” The campaign reminds viewers that drinking and driving is irresponsible—if you are old enough to drink, act like it. Get a safe ride home.