Leaders launch ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ campaign ahead of Labor Day weekend

Published: Sep. 1, 2022 at 6:22 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 1, 2022 at 6:32 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Inside the Patrick Henry Building in Richmond on Thursday, Governor Glenn Youngkin joined other leaders across the state to remind Virginians about the dangers of impaired driving as part of a statewide traffic safety awareness campaign called “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”

The campaign, formerly known as “Checkpoint Strikeforce,” aims to prevent alcohol-related fatalities on the roads.

“As we head into Labor Day weekend, and if you find yourself in a quick discussion with anybody, remind them that they have to drive sober or they will get pulled over,” said Gov. Youngkin.

Leaders hope to communicate their message with videos, including a new “Act Like It” spot and data.

“This year’s survey of 600 male drivers ages 21 to 35 in Virginia reveal 86 percent have admitted to either driving after a few drinks or being driven by someone who had a few drinks or both,” said John Saunders with Virginia DMV’s Highway Safety Office.

At the podium, Gov. Youngkin said alcohol-related crashes have ticked up in the last year, but added fatalities continue to decline.

We admit more than 4,300 patients per year, mostly to motor vehicle crashes, of which one-third have alcohol in their system,” said Michel Aboutanos, medical director of VCU Medical Center’s Level I Trauma Center.

Aboutanos adds around 50 percent of those cases end up in the intensive care unit, a statistic leading to heartbreak and grief for families.

“Telling a mom or a father that their daughter or their son will not walk again or not come home again is the hardest part of their job,” he said during the press conference.

In an effort to prevent these crashes, Virginia State Police plans to be out in full force along with their law enforcement partners across the state this Labor Day weekend. State troopers around Virginia will hold more than two dozen DUI checkpoints and hundreds of patrols to keep drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel.

“If knowing this makes one driver decide after taking a few drinks not to drive, then we have done our job,” said Colonel Gary Settle with Virginia State Police.

A message with a mission to save more lives.

“If you’re old enough to drink, act like it,” said Gov. Youngkin. “Act like it. It’s a lot more than a slogan. It’s the life of a Virginian that can be put at risk.”

The campaign will continue throughout the year, focusing on different holidays, including Halloween, Thanksgiving, and New Years’.