FRANKLIN CO. - While St. Patrick's Day is a fun time for many, the drinking that many choose to add to their celebrations can be costly.
For that reason, you can be sure local law enforcement along with State Police will be out looking for drunk drivers. Just over the past weekend, Roanoke Police instituted a no refusal weekend. Anyone who was suspected of driving under the influence and refused a breath test were tested anyway after the arresting officer obtained a warrant from a judge.
Virginia State Police will also be cracking down heading into this weekend, including tonight.
Below is a press release sent out this St. Patrick's Day. Be safe!
RICHMOND – A popular holiday in the U.S., St. Patrick’s Day celebrates the roots of millions of Americans with Irish ancestry. Unfortunately on March 17, the number of drunk drivers on the road also makes St. Patrick’s Day one of the deadliest holidays. So, Virginia State Police will be increasing patrols to deter and detect those motorists who choose to drive under the influence.
Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that over the past five years, 266 individuals lost their lives in alcohol-related crashes during St. Patrick’s Day nationwide. In 2014, between the hours of 6 p.m. March 16, to 5:59 a.m. March 18, more than a quarter, or 28 percent, of all motor vehicle crash fatalities involved drunk drivers. It wasn’t much better in the early hours of March 18, 2014, as nearly half of all crash fatalities involved drunk drivers between midnight and 5:59 a.m.*
“A buzzed or drunk driver puts everyone’s life at risk,” says Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “Impaired driving claimed 251 lives on Virginia’s highways in 2014.** These deaths were 100% preventable. There is no excuse for it when there are so many alternatives to help you get home safely, especially with today’s technology.”
Did you know NHTSA has a SaferRide app which is available for Android and Apple users? The app can help call a taxi, or a friend for a ride home or identify your location so you can be picked up. For more information:
Let’s make 2016 safer. Plan Before You Party:
Ensure you have a designated sober driver before any drinking begins;
If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend/family member, or request a transportation network company (TNC) - which uses online-enabled platforms to connect paying passengers with drivers who use their own non-commercial, personal vehicles, or opt to use public transportation, so you get home safely;
Consider using your local community’s Sober Rides program – in Northern Virginia call 1-800-200-TAXI;
To drink and drive is a crime. If you witness a drunk driver on the road, dial #77 on a cell phone for the nearest Virginia State Police Emergency Communications Center or call 911;
And remember, if you know someone who is about to drive or ride a motorcycle while impaired, take the keys and help them make arrangements to get to where they are going safely.