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Virginia launches 19th annual Checkpoint Strikeforce Campaign

Virginia State Police step up patrols for the Memorial Day weekend.
Virginia State Police step up patrols for the Memorial Day weekend.(Source: WVIR)
Updated: Aug. 26, 2020 at 1:28 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WHSV) — Gov. Ralph Northam kicked off the 19th annual Checkpoint Strikeforce enforcement and public education campaign on Wednesday to combat impaired driving and prevent alcohol-related injuries and fatalities on Virginia’s roads.

According to a press release from the Commonwealth of Virginia, the campaign has been modified to address health and safety concerns seen during the coronavirus pandemic. Periods of increased enforcement will take place from Aug. 26 through Labor Day weekend, and resume around key holidays like Halloween, Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve.

“This has been a challenging year, and now more than ever, we are all focused on keeping our loved ones safe,” said Northam. “I am asking Virginians to apply the same collective action and shared responsibility that we have harnessed to stop the spread of COVID-19 to reverse the trends of drunk driving. The work of Checkpoint Strikeforce is a critical part of our efforts to reduce the number of fatalities on Virginia’s roads, and the message is simple: if you are old enough to drink, act like it — never get behind the wheel after you have been drinking.”

Last year, 31.9 percent of traffic fatalities in Virginia were due to alcohol-related crashes, and 18,648 people were convicted of driving under the influence, according to the press release. During Labor Day weekend alone, Virginia State Police personnel arrested 76 drunk drivers.

The Virginia State Police will work through Labor Day weekend as part of Operation Crash Awareness Reduction Effort. Virginia State Police will participate in this program starting at midnight on Sept. 4 through midnight on Sept. 7.

The 2020 Checkpoint Strikeforce campaign launch is supported by new research from Lake Research Partners.

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