RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia State Police is stepping up its patrols this Fourth of July holiday weekend in an effort to curb drunk drivers on the road.
VSP's message: celebrate smart, safe, and sober this weekend.
It's especially important Virginians plan ahead before they hit the roads, Virginia State Police spokesperson Corinne Geller said in a news release.
“Summer days are filled with celebration, including vacations, outdoor festivals and backyard cookouts, but no matter where your plans take you, please make safety your priority,” said Colonel Gary T. Settle, Virginia State Police Superintendent, in the news release.
“Regardless of the distance you’re traveling this week – across the country or around the corner – remember to buckle up, eliminate distractions and never drive buzzed or drunk. If we all do our small part, we increase everyone’s chances of having a safer holiday weekend.”
Troopers will increase patrols from 12:01 a.m. Friday through midnight Sunday as part of VSP's Operation Crash Awareness Reduction Effort program.
The national program is state-sponsored and aims to reduce crashes, fatalities, and injuries due to drunk driving, speeding, or failing to wear a seat belt.
Last year’s three-day Independence Day operation, troopers arrested 79 drunk drivers. State troopers cited 5,517 speeders and 1,774 reckless drivers, issued 742 individuals for failing to obey the law and buckle up.
During the three-day July 4, 2019, holiday counting period, there were seven traffic deaths on Virginia highways.