Between Thanksgiving 2022 and New Year’s Day 2023, there was a 77% increase in alcohol-related crash fatalities from the previous holiday season. With 145 law enforcement agencies participating, Drive Sober Or Get Pulled Over is stepping up its efforts to apprehend drunk drivers on Virginia’s roads this holiday season. The Drive Sober Or Get Pulled Over campaign has a simple message for Virginians: If you’re old enough to drink, act like it and get a safe ride.
RICHMOND, VA – Virginia’s Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over DUI enforcement and public education campaign is on a mission to keep Virginia’s roads safe from drunk drivers this holiday season. Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over combines high visibility law enforcement efforts with research-based outreach to remind Virginians to plan for a safe ride home after drinking.
“Tragedies from drunk driving are 100% avoidable, yet year after year families and friends mourn the loss of their loved ones due to this negligent behavior,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over is working to prevent drunk driving and protect Virginians this holiday season, which is why law enforcement will be ramping up patrolling and checkpoints across the Commonwealth over the next couple weeks. We’re asking everyone to help our efforts by planning a safe ride home if they’ve been drinking.”
Between Thanksgiving 2022 and New Year’s Day 2023, 432 Virginians were injured and 23 Virginians lost their lives because of alcohol-related crashes, representing a 77% increase in alcohol-related crash fatalities from the previous holiday season.
The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign is particularly concerned with reaching males between the ages of 21 and 35, who are statistically at the highest risk for drunk driving. During the 2022 holiday season, 91% of alcohol-related crash fatalities were males. The campaign’s latest local public opinion survey found that 63% of young men admit to driving after having a few drinks, getting in a car with a driver who has been drinking, or both.
“We’re thankful for the law enforcement officers who often risk their lives to protect Virginia’s roadways and healthcare workers who work tirelessly to save lives in the aftermath of drunk driving tragedies,” said Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Gerald Lackey. “We need to eliminate alcohol-related crashes at the source. If you plan on drinking, don’t get behind the wheel.”
Between December 14, 2023, and January 1, 2024, 145 Virginia law enforcement agencies will participate in the holiday wave of Virginia’s Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign. Law enforcement officers will conduct 646 individual saturation patrols and 71 sobriety checkpoints across the Commonwealth.
In addition, Virginia State Police 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 December 22, 2023, and run through January 1, 2024.
Complementing the enforcement, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over is continuing its “Act Like It” public-awareness campaign. The campaign will be accompanied by a video series and advertisements that remind drivers that drinking and driving is irresponsible. Virginians will come across the campaign on TV, radio, social media platforms and online, at concert and sports venues, and wherever they might be drinking. The latest video can be viewed here: http://actlikeit.org/.