Sobriety checkpoints to be held across Virginia until New Year’s Day

RICHMOND, Va. – State Police and local law enforcement are taking action against drunk driving.

From now until January 1, the agencies are taking part in the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles’ (DMV) Highway Safety Office’s Checkpoint Strikeforce campaign.

In December alone, Virginia State Police and local law enforcement plan to conduct or have conducted roughly 100 DUI checkpoints and more than 750 saturation patrols.

Officials say the New Year holiday season is synonymous with drunk driving.

The campaign began in 2002 as a enforcement and education method to get impaired drivers off Virginia roadways.

While the initiative focuses on everyone, it’s mostly geared toward men, ages 21-35.

According to Virginia DMV, this is a demographic representing nearly a third of all persons killed in Virginia’s alcohol-related traffic crashes last year.

Penalties for even a first-time DUI conviction in Virginia include mandatory ignition interlock installation on the offender’s vehicle as well as fines up to $ 2,500, suspension periods up to one year and jail sentences also up to one year.

In total, DMV officials told News 3 a conviction could cost you about $10,000.