Virginia Highway Safety Office News ReleasesFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 3, 2008
Media Contact: Melanie Stokes
Department of Motor Vehicles
April is Alcohol Awareness Month
Impaired Driving Increases During Warm Weather
RICHMOND - By refusing to drink and drive, Virginians can do their part to support Alcohol Awareness Month this April. As the weather gets warmer, more motorists are on the road, many risking their lives and the lives of others by driving intoxicated.
The Department of Motor Vehicles' Virginia Highway Safety Office, the Virginia State Police and the Virginia Department of Transportation are encouraging motorists to take the Highway Safety Challenge during April by following these calls to action:
- Drive drug and alcohol free
- Buckle up
- Share the road
- Avoid distractions
- Obey speed limits
"Drunk driving is simply not worth the risk. Not only do you risk killing yourself or someone else, but the trauma and financial costs of a crash or an arrest for impaired driving can be significant," said DMV Commissioner D.B. Smit. "Virginia has some of the nation's toughest laws when it comes to drunk driving. Violators often face jail time, the loss of their driver's license, higher insurance rates, attorney fees, time away from work, and dozens of other expenses. Remember, impairment behind the wheel begins with only one alcoholic drink."
Preliminary statistics from DMV's Virginia Highway Safety Office show that alcohol was a factor in 377 Virginia highway deaths, and in 37 percent of all fatalities, in 2007. Between the hours of 10 p.m. and 2 a.m., one out of 10 drivers is intoxicated. In 2007, 28,674 Virginia drivers were convicted of DUI.
All Virginia motorists are urged to pause this month and reflect on the dangers associated with drunk driving. To protect yourself and others during Alcohol Awareness Month and throughout the year, you should take the keys from an impaired driver and help them make other arrangements to get where they are going safely. If you see an impaired driver on the road, pull over in a safe place and contact local law enforcement.