Local law enforcement ramp up efforts against drunk driving

Used by permission by the Warren County Office employee Sergeant Terry Fritts

Law Enforcement from around the Commonwealth are ramping up their efforts to stop drunk driving this holiday season.

Earlier this week, the Warren County Sheriff’s Office reminded drivers that buzzed driving is drunk driving.

They also shared data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that showed alcohol impaired drivers contributed to 13,384 fatalities in 2021.

On average, one person killed by drunk driving every 39 minutes.

Virginia State Police collaborated with the Madison County Sheriff’s Office to conduct a DUI checkpoint on Wednesday night which resulted in 26 issued summons.

They were for various other violations like driving without a license or expired inspections, but showed the State Police has already begun their efforts to deter impaired driving this holiday season.

The Warren County Sheriff’s Office provided some tips and reminders for safe travel this holiday season including to plan ahead if you know you will be drinking, designate a sober driver, or utilize a taxi or ride sharing option.

If you see a drunk driver on the road, do not hesitate to contact your local law enforcement.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Winchester police introduce Discovery Hub

lorenzo wheeler homicide

The Winchester Police Department introduces the Discovery Hub, Driven to Protect safety initiative.

This Virginia initiative offers teachers, parents and students on the dangers of driving drunk.

Learn about the dangers of driving under affects of  alcohol and the latest innovative technologies currently being developed for safer highways.

To learn more about the Driven to Protect Safety Initiative please visit their website. 

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Local law enforcement issues marijuana law reminders

Local law enforcement agencies are reminding residents today on 4/20 that driving under the influence of marijuana is not only dangerous, but against the law.

Under Virginia law, it is also illegal to have an opened container of marijuana in the passenger area of the vehicle.

Driving while high on marijuana can slow reaction times, impair cognitive performance, and make it difficult to maintain lane position.

Designate a sober driver or utilize a ridesharing service or cab to make it home safe.

Driving while under the influence of drugs is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia  and penalties can include up to 12 months in jail, $2,500 fine, 12 month loss of driving privileges, and completion of certain safety programs.

Remember, if you feel different, you drive different.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

FCSO rescue unconscious driver from pond

Frederick County Sheriff’s (FCSO) report the rescue of an unconscious driver from a pond off of Papermill Road.

FCSO responded to a call Feb. 3 at 11 a.m. responded to reports of an SUV that had driven off the road and into a pond in the area of Papermill Road and Harrison Lane.

When deputies arrived on the scene, they could see the SUV submerged up to the hood of the vehicle and the driver slumped over the steering wheel.

Deputies entered the water and removed the unconscious driver, Michael Surgent of Mechanicsville, from the vehicle.

The driver was given a dose of Narcan and regained consciousness.

Aerosol cans were recovered from his vehicle and it’s believed he was huffing chemicals which led to him losing control of the vehicle.

He is charged with huffing chemicals, reckless driving and driving under the influence.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.