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Checkpoint Strikeforce ramps up for the holidays

Gov. Ralph Northam recently announced that the commonwealth’s 19th annual Checkpoint Strikeforce campaign and enforcement effort is ramping up on Virginia’s roads this holiday travel season to help curb alcohol-related traffic fatalities.

According to figures from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), 253 individuals died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes on Virginia’s roadways through Dec. 8, compared to 249 alcohol-related traffic fatalities recorded during the same period in 2019. During last year’s Thanksgiving to New Year’s holiday period, nearly one-third, or 32 percent, of all traffic deaths in Virginia involved drunk drivers.

“At every stage of this pandemic, Virginians have worked together to keep each other safe, and this holiday season is no different,” Northam said. “While your travel plans may look different this year it is important to keep your guard up, even if you are just making short trips near home. If you plan to drink, make sure you have a sober ride—Virginia has zero tolerance for impaired driving.”

In partnership with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” national enforcement mobilization period from Dec. 18 to January 1, state and local law enforcement agencies will be conducting more than 700 saturation patrols and nearly 100 sobriety checkpoints throughout Virginia.