As St. Patrick’s Day approaches, the Roanoke County Police Department is urging motorists to plan a safe ride home and never get behind the wheel drunk. For many Americans, St. Patrick’s Day has become a popular opportunity to celebrate with friends and family. As a result, Roanoke County police will be out in force this weekend, cracking down on drunk drivers as part of its “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” public safety campaign.
“Impaired driving is dangerous, deadly, and will not be tolerated in Roanoke County,” said Sgt. Tim Wyatt of the department’s Traffic Unit. “If you drive through Roanoke County and are caught driving drunk you will be arrested. There will be no warnings.”
According to the National Highway Safety Administration – from 2006 to 2010 – more than 700 people were killed nationwide in crashes involving drunk drivers over the St. Patrick’s Day holiday. On average, every 51 minutes a person is killed in a drunk-driving related crash in the United States, and the majority of these crashes involve drivers who have blood alcohol concentrations almost twice the legal limit of 0.08.
In 2012, 353 drivers were arrested for impaired driving and related driving alcohol offenses in Roanoke County. The department will be conducting multiple sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols from Friday through Sunday in an effort to keep Roanoke County’s roads safe from impaired drivers.
“If you drive impaired this holiday weekend, it will take more than the luck of the Irish to keep you from being arrested,” said Wyatt. “Please remember to plan a safe and sober way home before the festivities begin.”
– Submitted by Teresa Hall