Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Virginia’s ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ Campaign Returns This Holiday Season

 
Complementing the enforcement, “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” is continuing its “Act Like It” public-awareness campaign. This screenshot of this year’s new 30-second video features the traffic safety campaign’s “man-baby” character and his friend.

VIRGINIA — Virginia’s “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” DUI enforcement and public education campaign is back on the roads this holiday season to close out 21 years of deterring drunk driving.

“Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,” formerly known as Checkpoint Strikeforce, combines law enforcement efforts with research-based outreach to remind Virginians to plan for a safe ride home after drinking.

The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign is a national initiative (Courtesy National Highway and Safety Administration)

“Our goal is to ensure that every Virginian gets home safely to their families this holiday season,” said Gov. Glenn Youngkin. “’Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ is back to remind folks to celebrate responsibly and plan a safe ride home if they’ve been drinking.”

According to reports, in 2020, over a third (39%) of all U.S. traffic fatalities on Christmas Day involved alcohol-impaired drivers. On New Year’s Day 2020, alcohol-impaired traffic fatalities accounted for nearly half (49%) of all U.S. traffic fatalities. In the Commonwealth alone, 445 Virginians were injured and 13 lost their lives because of alcohol-related crashes between Thanksgiving 2021 and New Year’s Day 2022.

“The research is clear: the winter holidays are one of the most dangerous times of the year due to alcohol-related crashes. It’s crucial that everyone does their part to keep themselves and their families safe this holiday season by making a plan for a sober ride home if your festivities include alcohol,” said Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles Acting Commissioner Linda Ford. “The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles is proud to continue our collaboration with the Washington Regional Alcohol Program’s Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign to stop these tragedies at the source.”

Since the campaign’s launch in 2001, alcohol-related crashes have decreased by 40%, fatalities have decreased by 31%, and injuries have nearly halved. Last year in Virginia, over a fourth (26%) of all traffic fatalities involved alcohol, representing a 9.2% decrease from 2020. The state of Virginia still believes there is much work still to be done, despite this success.

Virginia State Police say personnel will work through the holiday as part of Operation CARE — the Crash Awareness Reduction Effort. CARE is a nationwide, state-sponsored traffic safety program that aims to reduce traffic crashes, fatalities, and injuries caused by impaired driving, speeding, and failing to use occupant restraints. Virginia State Police’s participation in the program will begin Friday, Dec. 23, and run through Monday, Jan. 2 at midnight.

In addition, 120 Virginia law enforcement agencies will participate in the holiday wave of Virginia’s “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over ” campaign through New Year’s Day. Law enforcement officers will conduct 536 individual saturation patrols and 95 sobriety checkpoints across the Commonwealth.

For more information on the campaign please visit the official website.

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