Fairfax County Hosts Launch of Statewide Anti-Drunk Driving Checkpoint Strikeforce Campaign
This morning, Fairfax County Police Chief Colonel Edwin C. Roessler Jr., Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles Director of Highway Safety John Saunders and Virginia-based Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP) President Kurt Erickson launched the annual statewide anti-drunk driving Checkpoint Strikeforce Campaign. The DUI law enforcement and public education campaign continues through Labor Day weekend and will resume during Halloween and the holidays.
Complementing the high visibility enforcement, Checkpoint Strikeforce is sponsoring an advertising campaign called “Act Like It.” The advertisements remind viewers that drinking and driving is irresponsible—if you’re old enough to drink, act like it. Get a safe ride home. The ad can be viewed here.
Fairfax County Statistics:
To date in 2019, there have been 209 alcohol-involved crashes resulting in eight fatalities and 106 injuries. Of the eight alcohol-involved fatalities, three involved impaired pedestrians and five were caused by intoxicated drivers.
In 2018, there were 362 alcohol-involved crashes resulting in 12 fatalities and 181 injuries. Of the 12 alcohol-involved fatalities, four were the result of impaired pedestrians and eight were caused by intoxicated drivers. There were also three fatalities resulting from drivers impaired by drugs.
Working on a Solution to Save Lives:
Since it began in 2017, the DWI Enforcement Squad has played a significant role in reducing alcohol-involved crashes in our county. In 2016, the year before the squad was deployed, we responded to and investigated 501 alcohol-involved crashes. In 2017, that number dropped 19.5% to 403 alcohol crashes, and in 2018, it dropped another 10.1% to 362 alcohol-involved crashes. Overall from 2016 to 2018, there was a 27.7% decrease in alcohol-involved crashes investigated by FCPD officers.
What You Can Do:
- Don’t drink and drive.
- Plan ahead. If you are planning to drink, arrange for a designated driver, use a ride sharing company, or take a taxi.
- If you are with someone who has been drinking, do not let them drive and try to arrange a sober ride for them.
- If you are hosting a party where alcohol will be served, ensure that your guests leave with a sober driver.
- While on the road, report any suspected impaired drivers by calling 9-1-1 or non-emergency dispatch at 703-691-2131.
- Communication is important. Parents should talk to their children about the dangers of impaired driving.