WASHINGTON COUNTY, Va. - A word of warning before you head out for your New Year's Eve celebrations, and its a simple one -- don't drink and drive.
Patrols and checkpoints are being set up around the region to curb the number of alcohol-related accidents and deaths.
As the New Year's Eve traffic begins to increase, so do the number of patrols by the Washington County, Virginia Sheriff's Department. They're looking for those drivers who would be drinking and driving on this final holiday of the year.
The authorities tell us they have specific areas to keep an eye on. "We just take data that's been compiled over several years of alcohol-related crashes and injuries, and we target those specific areas throughout Washington County using saturation patrols, high visibility patrols, and checkpoints," Lieutenant Greg Hogston said.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, almost two of every five deaths that occur around the holidays are alcohol-related.
In Washington County, Virginia, they've seen a decline in alcohol related arrests during the season. "It's working very well. Our numbers of accidents involving alcohol are down, and our number of fatalities in Washington County are down at this time," Hogston says.
Besides those numbers, people who are out having a good time on New Year's Eve are smarter about not getting behind the wheel while drinking. "In the past several years, we have noticed tremendously the volume of traffic between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. is drastically decreased, and the number of taxi cabs and [driving] services for subjects are being used," he said.
It's the smart, safe way to enjoy News Year's Eve.