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Drunk driving: Sobriety checkpoints on high alert

Sobriety checkpoints are fairly common around the holidays, and this Christmas and New Year's period is no different. A Dec. 22 report states that Virginia will have several checkpoints across the state thanks to the Checkpoint Strikeforce campaign. So far in December, the Virginia State Police have conducted around 750 saturation patrols and another 100 DUI checkpoints.

Every year, the holiday season becomes darkened by drunk and impaired driving. This campaign, which has been used since 2002, is used to educate people about the laws and to enforce them to help prevent dangerous drivers from causing dangerous accidents.

The initiative does impact all drivers, but its true aim is at one group, men between the ages of 21 and 35. This demographic made up around a third of those killed in drunk driving crashes in 2016.

First-time DUIs land drivers with fines of up to $2,500 in Virginia. Additionally, they could lose their licenses for up to a year and face a jail sentence of up to a year. Another possibility is the requirement of a mandatory ignition interlock device. Altogether, a single conviction costs approximately $10,000 for the person convicted.

Drunk driving impacts you in a number of ways, from resulting in a conviction that stays on your record to hurting your ability to get a job. Remember that a strong defense could help if you're caught drinking and driving. Otherwise, remember to get a cab, catch a ride with a friend or stay off the roads if you're intoxicated. Driving home while intoxicated isn't worth the risk to yourself or others.

Source: WTKR, "Sobriety checkpoints to be held across Virginia until New Year’s Day," Brian Hill, accessed Dec. 27, 2017

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