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MADD 'Glad' About More Sobriety Checkpoints

PHOTO: Mothers Against Drunk Driving says high visibility law enforcement campaigns are a proven deterrent against drunk driving. The 'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over' campaign runs through Labor Day Weekend. Photo credit: MADD
PHOTO: Mothers Against Drunk Driving says high visibility law enforcement campaigns are a proven deterrent against drunk driving. The 'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over' campaign runs through Labor Day Weekend. Photo credit: MADD
August 26, 2013

RICHMOND, Va. - You might think an organization called "MADD" would not have much to be glad about, but having more police on the streets through the Labor Day holiday weekend is certainly one thing that has them pleased. Mothers Against Drunk Driving national president Jan Withers said high-visibility law enforcement is a proven way to reduce drunk-driving deaths.

"When it's advertised, and people know about it, it's a deterrent," she said. "Then, when they see the officers on the highway and they have the sobriety checkpoints, it's interesting, because it literally does reduce those fatalities by 20 percent."

Police in Virginia and across the country are out in force through the Labor Day weekend looking for drunk drivers as part of the annual Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Campaign.

Instead of being frustrated by increased patrols and the like, drivers should be grateful, Withers added.

"If you happen to go through a sobriety checkpoint, please say 'thank you' to the officers for helping to protect us," she urged.

According to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, 229 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes in the state last year.

More information is available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at http://www.nhtsa.gov/drivesober/.

Alison Burns, Public News Service - VA