HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — Police departments across Hampton Roads are preparing for the New Year by making sure impaired drivers stay off the road throughout the New Year’s holiday and into the weekend.
In Virginia Beach, dozens of police officers were set up in Town Center for the Last Night On The Town event on New Year’s Eve. Organizers said 5,000 to 7,000 people were expected to attend.
Master Police Officer Colin Mack said many Virginia Beach officers would patrol on foot before moving to traffic enforcement. He said there will be an increased police effort overnight to spot drunk drivers and get them out from behind the wheel. As part of that, the department will run checkpoints and saturation patrols.
“We’ll go to a popular area or an area where there’s a lot of pedestrian and vehicular traffic to enforce all traffic safety laws,” Mack said. “But, also look for DUIs.”
The Newport News Police Department also announced enhanced DUI patrol operations throughout the city on New Year’s Eve until Jan. 3. The evening patrols will begin around 7 p.m. and last until about 3 a.m. Officers said they will be focusing their patrols in areas where motorists are most likely to be operating their vehicles while impaired by alcohol or drugs.
Officials recommend these simple tips for a safe holiday season:
- Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin
- Before drinking, designate a sober driver and leave your car keys at home
- If you feel impaired, use a taxi or call a sober friend or family member
Officers also said you should report all intoxicated drivers to police. If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, contact your local law enforcement agency or dial 911.