Virginia to ramp up sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols through Labor Day
Police, Virginia

Virginia to ramp up sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols through Labor Day

Crystal Graham
car keys beside glass of whiskey
(© fotofabrika –

The annual “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” public education and DUI enforcement campaign is currently under way and will run through the Labor Day holiday.

This is the 22nd year of the campaign in the Commonwealth.

“The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign reflects our collective commitment to stopping irresponsible, impaired driving and in turn, saving lives,” said Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Gerald Lackey. “We’re asking all Virginians to plan a safe ride home before drinking.”

More than 150 Virginia law enforcement agencies will participate in the campaign with 476 individual saturation patrols and 100 sobriety checkpoints set up across the state.

“The increase in drunk driving fatalities underscores how important it is to plan a safe ride home before you drink to protect your life and the lives of your fellow Virginians,” said Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin. “State and local law enforcement will be coordinating with the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign to put a stop to these tragedies before they happen.”

The campaign uses public safety messages and high-visibility enforcement to keep impaired drivers off the road.

The joint effort between trauma care partners and law enforcement helps to communicate a simple message: if you’re old enough to drink, act like it.

“I am no stranger to witnessing the devastating consequences of impaired driving,” said Dr. Michel Aboutanos, the Medical Director of VCU Medical Center’s Level I Trauma Center. “Impaired driving not only harms the driver, but also puts many innocent lives in danger as well. It is crucial that everyone does their part in discouraging and preventing impaired driving.”

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, formerly known as Checkpoint Strikeforce, is supported by a grant from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles to the Virginia-based nonprofit Washington Regional Alcohol Program.

Sobering statistics

  • In 2022, there were 6,910 alcohol-related crashes on Virginia roads.
  • There were 274 fatalities – an increase of 11 percent compared to 2021.
  • There were 4,174 people injured as a result of the crashes.

Research on drunk driving

The campaign is supported by new research from Lake Research Partners, who conducted a survey this July of Virginia drivers that are most likely to drive after drinking: 21 to 35-year-old males.

  • In the last year, 63 percent of men surveyed admitted to having driven after having a few drinks or being driven by someone who had a few drinks.
  • While 96 percent of young men indicate that they believe it is important to make a plan to get home safely after a night of drinking, only 44 percent frequently do.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.