Home Shannon talks up plan to fight drunk-driving

Shannon talks up plan to fight drunk-driving


Democratic Party attorney-general candidate Steve Shannon announced his comprehensive plan to combat drunk driving in Virginia today at the Annual Conference of the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police.
Shannon’s plan will increase enforcement of drunk driving laws, strengthen penalties for drunk drivers, make sure prosecutors have the tools they need to get convictions in drunk driving cases, and prevent drunk driving incidents before they happen with education and awareness programs targeted at minors and 21-34 year olds who are the most likely to drive drunk.

“Every year hundreds of Virginia families lose a loved one in a drunk driving accident,” said Shannon. “My plan will reduce the number alcohol-related incidents on Virginia’s roads by increasing enforcement, cracking down on drunk drivers and educating our youth about the dangers of driving under the influence.”

Highlights of the plan include:
– Supporting and expanding Governor Kaine’s successful Checkpoint Strikeforce initiative. Implemented on holiday weekends – when incidents of drunk driving are most likely to occur – Virginia State Police set up sobriety checkpoints on roads most likely to be traveled by drunk drivers, including rural roads. Shannon’s plan will expand the number of checkpoints every weekend, not just on key holidays.
– Requiring forfeiture and impoundment of a vehicle after the second offense. Current Virginia law allows for forfeiture of a drunk driver’s vehicle after the third offense, if he is the sole or part owner of the car. Shannon’s plan will expand this to apply to second-time offenders. Taking away a drunk driver’s car will help keep him off the road.
– Educating our students about the dangers of drinking and driving. For every 100,000 licensed drivers, underage drunk drivers are involved in accidents at twice the rate of those over 21. Shannon will work with the Governor and Virginia educators to stop alcohol-related incidents before they start with new awareness and education programs.
– Making sure that law enforcement and prosecutors have the tools they need so that drunk driving cases are not dismissed on technicalities. The Supreme Court’s recent Melendez-Diaz decision will require a statutory fix as well as significant administrative changes to our criminal justice system. Shannon will work with the Governor and the General Assembly to ensure that law enforcement and prosecutors have the resources they need to keep drunk driving cases from being dismissed on technicalities.

Shannon is a former criminal prosecutor who prosecuted hundreds of drunk driving cases while serving in the Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office.

He is running against Ken Cuccinelli, a state senator from Fairfax County. Cuccinelli has voted against legislation to crack down on drunk drivers including a 2004 bill that to require law enforcement to seize cars owned by felon drunk drivers (HB 1130, 3/9/04).

To download a full copy of Steve Shannon’s plan to combat drunk driving please visit the campaign website: http://www.shannon2009.com/files/drunkdrivingplan.pdf or call Brian Coy at 703.477.8222.



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