Virginia: State Police report lowest Fourth of July traffic fatalities since 2002; 96 DUI arrests


Virginia State Police, Prince William and Fairfax Police DUI effort

Virginia State Police, Prince William and Fairfax Police DUI effort

Holiday Weekend Drunken Driving Arrests Increase

RICHMOND – Preliminary reports indicate the 2015 Fourth of July holiday weekend experienced the fewest fatal traffic crashes since 2002.

A total of four fatal crashes have been reported for the three-day holiday weekend. Three drivers and one passenger died in the four crashes that occurred between July 3, 2015, and July 5, 2015, in the counties of Carroll, Henrico, Pittsylvania and Washington.

The Washington County fatal crash claimed the life of a 5-year-old Houston, Texas, girl.

The girl was not secured in a booster seat at the time of the crash.

During the holiday weekend, Virginia State Police participated in the annual Operation Combined Accident Reduction Effort (C.A.R.E.), a state-sponsored, national program that encourages law enforcement agencies to increase visibility and traffic enforcement efforts on major travel holidays.

The stepped-up law enforcement operation was part of the nationwide Drive to Save Lives (#DrivetoSaveLives) campaign that aims to not only reduce traffic fatalities by 15 percent in 2015, but to also increase officer safety for those on patrol.

As part of the Operation C.A.R.E. enforcement effort, Virginia State Police troopers arrested 96 impaired drivers for DUI—an increase from the 77 DUI arrests made over the July 4 holiday in 2014.

“Despite the record decrease in traffic deaths over this past holiday weekend, the fact that DUI arrests increased by almost 20 percent is of extreme concern,” said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “Such an increase means 96 individuals made the irresponsible and potentially deadly decision to drive while under the influence of alcohol. Those drivers put countless other motorists at risk for a crash, injury or death.”

During the summer and fall months, Virginia State Police is an active participant in Checkpoint Strikeforce, an intensive law-enforcement mobilization aimed at deterring and detecting impaired drivers in the Commonwealth through aggressive DUI enforcement and education.

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In addition to DUI arrests, Virginia state troopers also cited 8,942 speeders and another 2,259 reckless drivers statewide. Troopers also cited 822 safety belt violations and 327 child safety seat violations. State police investigated a total of 690 traffic crashes, four of which were fatal.