Virginia Beach Police took nine drunk or drugged drivers off the city’s roads and interstates March 17. The date of the DUI crackdown, St. Patrick’s Day, was significant, as the feast day of Ireland’s patron saint ranks as the eighth busiest day for drunk and drugged traffic accidents in which a driver, passenger or pedestrian is killed.
The location was also significant, as many in Virginia are still coming to terms with the drunk driving death of a Kempsville High School student who lost his life when his 16-year-old friend decided to drive after drinking. More than 820 people died in Virginia in car, truck and pedestrian accidents involving alcohol and drugs during 2008. Across the United States, more than 25,000 died in DUI accidents that year.
Effort such as last Wednesday’s DUI checkpoints help reduce DUIs and keep the city safe. Checkpoints can only do so much, however. The terrible toll in deaths and injuries drunk and drugged drivers take on residents of and visitors to Virginia Beach — and throughout the nation — can only be totally eliminated when all drivers make the responsible choice to not get behind the wheel after they have drunk too much or taken drugs that impair their physical and mental functioning.
About the Editors: The Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm, whose attorneys work out of offices in Virginia (VA) and North Carolina (NC), edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as pro bono services.