Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Making Our Streets Safer

The Loudoun County Sheriff's Office says the results of a weekend sobriety checkpoint show motorists are getting the message not to drink and drive.

Nearly 400 cars passed through the checkpoint held on Route 606 at Dulles Trade Place from 11 p.m. Saturday to 3 a.m. Sunday. The agency found no motorists driving under the influence of alcohol. "This is a sign that the DUI checkpoints have been successful in encouraging drivers to use better judgment," said Sheriff Steve Simpson.

The Sheriff's Office currently conducts one sobriety checkpoint per month throughout the year and holds additional checkpoints during the holidays. The Sheriff's Office designed the checkpoints to raise public awareness and to discourage impaired driving.

Over the past several years Loudoun County has seen a marked decrease in the number of alcohol related crashes and fatalities. In 2004 there were 236 alcohol related traffic crashes, in 2005 there were 184, and 188 in 2006. In 2004, there were eight alcohol related traffic fatalities with three fatalities in both 2005 and 2006.

The checkpoint did find three motorists who were driving without a license and one driver who had a suspended license. The agency has been conducting license checkpoints throughout the county this summer. In the three checkpoints conducted so far, a total of 39 unlicensed drivers have been cited.

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