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New Report: Drunk Driving Rates Drop In Virginia

According to a new report released by the Washington Examiner, the number of alcohol- and drug-related traffic accidents has significantly dropped in Virginia over the past five years. In Maryland, the number of drunk driving accidents stayed about the same, while the number of DUI crashes in Washington DC went up slightly.

What has Virginia been doing right since 2006? Officials say that a combination of general education and DUI checkpoints have been key in getting injury and accident numbers down. Publicizing checkpoints (there were over 600 just last year) and saturation patrols make many Virginians think before they drink, while educational programs teach citizens about the dangers and consequences of getting behind the wheel after drinking. At the same time, tougher laws for those guilty of high-BAC DUIs and DUI repeat offenders are keeping chronic lawbreakers from continuing to drink and drive. One of the biggest difference-makers may be a 2004 law that required DUI offenders with blood alcohol levels above 0.15 to install ignition interlock devices in their cars. However, some officials worry that it will be difficult to keep these programs going without more funding.

In Virginia in 2006, the highway safety office reported that there were 11,736 alcohol- and drug-related traffic accidents. In 2010, only 8,221 DUI accidents were recorded. However, Virginia authorities stressed that they wouldn’t be content until that number was down to zero.

Have you been harmed in a drunk driving accident in Virginia? Speak with a personal injury attorney in your area today about your case.
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