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Virginia Highway Safety Office News Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 20, 2008
Media Contact: Melanie Stokes
Department of Motor Vehicles
(804) 367-6623

Motorists Urged to Use Caution During Fourth of July Holiday
Law Enforcement Operating DUI Checkpoints Across Virginia

RICHMOND - Virginia's roadways will soon be busy with drivers traveling to Fourth of July activities. Motorists are cautioned not to drink alcohol while driving.

Checkpoint Stikeforce logo
Beginning one week before the holiday, Virginia State Police and local law enforcement agencies will conduct concentrated DUI enforcement operations as part of this year's regional Checkpoint Strikeforce campaign. Checkpoint Strikeforce is a broad-based paid radio and media campaign supported by high visibility sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols as a means to educate, identify and apprehend drunk drivers.

"As part of the campaign's strategy, officers across Virginia will hold DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols every week until the end of the year to ensure that citizens drive smart, safe and sober," said John Saunders, director of the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Virginia Highway Safety Office.

From October 1, 2007 through June 1, 2008, Checkpoint Strikeforce local law enforcement activities resulted in 779 DUI arrests, 1,023 safety belt citations and 209 child restraint citations. Thirty-six juveniles were cited for underage drinking, and there were 12,961 other arrests, citations and warnings. These figures do not include results from the Virginia State Police's enforcement activities.

Eighteen people died on Virginia's roads during the six-day Fourth of July holiday in 2007. During the five-day holiday in 2006, there were 22 deaths on Virginia's roads. DMV's Virginia Highway Safety Office, the State Police and the Department of Transportation encourage motorists to take the Highway Safety Challenge during the Fourth of July holiday and every day by following these calls to action:

Highway Safety Challenge logo
  • Drive drug and alcohol free
  • Buckle up
  • Share the road
  • Avoid distractions
  • Obey speed limits

For more information about the Highway Safety Challenge, visit www.safeVAhighways.org.

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