But, more people need to heed the message: Don’t Drive Drunk in Roanoke
On St. Patrick’s Day weekend, the Roanoke Police Department, with the support of the Roanoke Prevention Alliance, implemented a Saturation Patrol along Williamson Road, Orange Avenue and Downtown Roanoke to intercept anyone driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol. Saturation Patrols are concentrated enforcement efforts that target impaired drivers by observing moving violations such as weaving across the lane lines, reckless driving, speeding, aggressive driving, and others.
Saturday, March 16, Roanoke Police Officers involved in the Saturation Patrol stopped 63 vehicles and issued 40 summonses. The number of arrests for DUI in Roanoke increased 60% over the same weekend the previous year. The Roanoke Prevention Alliance is working with the Roanoke Police Department to increase enforcement of DUI laws in order to decrease the incidents of alcohol–related motor vehicle crashes by 21 to 24 year olds in Roanoke.
Unfortunately, that evening, two individuals were charged with DUI as a result of motor vehicle crashes–one individual was 22 years old and the other was 24 years old. This explicitly demonstrates the need for increased enforcement of DUI laws in Roanoke and the need to know, “WHAT’S YOUR PLAN?” so you don’t drink and get behind the wheel.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports over 700 people were killed nationwide in crashes involving a drunk driver during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday from 2006 to 2010.
According to NHTSA, on average, every 51 minutes a person is killed in a drunk-driving crash in the United States and the majority of these crashes involve drunk drivers who have blood alcohol concentrations of .15 grams per deciliter or higher, almost twice the legal limit of .08 g/dl.
WHAT’S YOUR PLAN?
To prevent these tragedies from occurring, Roanoke Prevention Alliance and Roanoke Police
Department recommend the following steps to have a safe night out:
- Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin.
- Before drinking, designate a sober driver and leave your car keys at home.
- If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public
transportation to get home safely.
- And remember, if you know people who are about to drive or ride while impaired, take
their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.
- If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact local police.