We know many of you are concerned about drunk driving in the county, especially following the death of one of our residents as she waited for the bus on Saturday, September 5 in the West Springfield district. We want to reassure the community that we take these cases very seriously and our priority is always the protection of life. In order to do that, we employ two strategies. As stated by Master Police Officer Patrick Nolan, Traffic Division – DWI Coordinator for the police department, “Our goal in utilizing sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols in Fairfax County is to reduce the number of crashes, deaths, injuries and property damage caused by impaired driving.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an average of one alcohol-impaired driving fatality occurred every 52 minutes in 2013, making up 31% of the total traffic fatalities that year. Though this number still remains too high, it has been on a decline since 2010. In 2014, The Fairfax County Police Department investigated 27% fewer alcohol-related crashes than in 2010.
We are currently on a pace to show a 32% reduction in alcohol-related crashes from 2010-2015. MPO Nolan said, “It is the policy of the department to utilize sobriety checkpoints in order to apprehend impaired drivers and increase the perception of the risk of apprehension by motorists who would consider operating a vehicle while impaired by alcohol or other drugs. Checkpoints also give us an opportunity to educate the public about the problem of impaired driving in Fairfax County. Each motorist who passes through an active checkpoint receives a flyer which shows the number of DWI arrests, alcohol-related crashes, and drug-related crashes that occurred in Fairfax County during the previous year. It is not uncommon for motorists to thank us for conducting our sobriety checkpoints.”
NOTE: There will be a Citizens Advisory Committee meeting held at the Franconia District Government Center, 6121 Franconia Road, on Wednesday, September 16; at 7:00 p.m. Featured will be a presentation by Master Police Officer Patrick Nolan, DWI Coordinator for the police department.
For more information about DWI enforcement; Sobriety Checkpoints and Saturation Patrols, please visit;