Culpeper police plan St. Patrick’s Day weekend patrols
© Virginia News GroupCulpeper police want people to wear green and enjoy the St. Patrick’s Day weekend and not spend the green defending themselves on a drunken driving charge.
This weekend, Culpeper police plan extra saturation patrols to detect and arrest drunken drivers. These extra patrols are grant-funded through the Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles. The grant is designed to get impaired drivers of the road.
March is a particularly dangerous month for alcohol-related crashes, second only to April. Last year in March, there were 746 drunken driving crashes in Virginia, resulting in six fatalities and 511 injuries.
St. Patrick’s Day last year saw 44 crashes with 37 injuries that were alcohol-related. In 2011, there were 28 alcohol-related crashes, with 15 injuries and one fatality.
“If people insist on drinking to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, please make plans ahead of time to have a designated driver or find another way home,” said Culpeper Police Chief Chris Jenkins. “We don’t want anyone killed or injured by a drunken driver.”
To enjoy the weekend festivities, Chief Jenkins recommends:
· Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin.
· Designate a sober driver.
· If you see an impaired driver on the road – keep your distance; pull over in a safe place and dial #77 or 911 if you are driving in Virginia to report it to law enforcement.
· 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.
“What’s fine is to enjoy and celebrate,” said Culpeper’s police chief. “What isn’t fine is getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol.”