RICHMOND, Va. – Almost a DUI an hour. That is how long of a period Virginia State Police said lapsed between DUI’s given out during the Forth of July holiday.
VSP said they arrested 42 drivers for drinking and driving during the 48-hour period that involved the Fourth of July holiday that covered Tuesday, July 3, as well in their statistical analysis.
“Every impaired driver who makes the choice to get behind the wheel of a vehicle puts countless other lives at risk of injury or death,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “We need every Virginian to make the smart, safe and sober decision to never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Changing drivers’ dangerous behaviors saves lives. During these summer months, we ask that all drivers and passengers adopt safe habits like always buckling up, putting down the phone and, of course, never driving impaired. Those are the first steps toward achieving our goal of zero fatalities. We can get there, but we need everyone’s help to make it a reality.”
Troopers also stopped and issued summonses to 4,911 speeders and 1,251 reckless drivers over the holiday period. Troopers cited 429 safety belt violations and 114 child restraint violations.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), every day almost 29 people in the United States die in alcohol-impaired vehicle crashes—that was one person every 50 minutes in 2016. Drunk-driving fatalities have fallen by a third in the last three decades; however, drunk-driving crashes claim more than 10,000 lives per year. In 2010, the most recent year for which cost data is available, these deaths and damages contributed to a cost of $44B per year.
Funds generated from summonses issued by Virginia State Police go directly to court fees and the state’s Literary Fund, which benefits public school construction, technology funding and teacher retirement.