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Extra ACPD patrols looking for DUI drivers during the holidays

Police officer conducts traffic stop during ACPD’s November 2023 Street Smart campaign in Courthouse (staff photo by James Jarvis)

Expect more cops on Arlington roads through New Year’s Day.

As part of the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign — tagline this year: “Drink and drive and you’ll see more than holiday lights” — Arlington County police have increased patrols through Jan. 1.

“Motorists nationwide can expect to see increased messaging about the dangers of driving under the influence, coupled with increased saturation patrols to identify and apprehend impaired drivers,” ACPD said in a press release.

The holidays are typically a dangerous time on the roads, due to a rise in alcohol-related crashes.

The extra patrols started this past Friday. The full press release is below.

The Arlington County Police Department (ACPD) is partnering with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) during the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign to remind motorists to keep the busy holiday season merry and bright by never getting behind the wheel after drinking. If your holiday festivities include alcohol, plan a sober ride home before the celebration begins – whether it’s by using a ridesharing service, taxi, public transportation, or designated sober driver.

The annual Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign aims to drastically reduce drunk driving on our nation’s roadways through a two-pronged approach of education and enforcement. From December 15, 2023 – January 1, 2024, motorists nationwide can expect to see increased messaging about the dangers of driving under the influence, coupled with increased saturation patrols to identify and apprehend impaired drivers.

Tragically, December can be a dangerous time for travelers. According to NHTSA, during the 2017-2021 December months, there were more than 4,500 people killed nationwide in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes. In December 2021 alone, 1,013 people died in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes. More parties and festivities celebrating the season can lead to more people making the dangerous decision to get behind the wheel after drinking. That is why ACPD is working with NHTSA to remind drivers of this important safety message: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.

Celebrate the Season Responsibly

The Arlington County Police Department encourages you to follow these tips to keep the holidays safe and joyous:

  • Before you have even one drink, plan a way to get home safely. If you wait until you’ve been drinking to make this decision, you might not make the safest choice.
  • The Washington Regional Alcohol Program’s 2023 Holiday SoberRide program is offering free rides home, in partnership with Lyft, from Friday, December 15, 2023, until Monday, January 1, 2024, nightly between 10:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m.
  • If you see a suspected impaired driver on the roadway, report to your local law enforcement. To report a suspected impaired driver in Arlington County, call the Emergency Communications Center at 703-558-2222 or 9-1-1 in an emergency.
  • Have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.

For more information about the 2023 Holiday Season Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, visit the NHTSA website.

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