One of the most important functions that are performed by a patrol deputy sheriff with Dinwiddie County Sheriff’s Office is that of traffic enforcement. This enforcement effort entails keeping the roadways of the county safe for all of those who travel them. This form of law enforcement includes speed enforcement along with detecting equipment violations and distracted drivers. One of the most important enforcement efforts is identifying those drivers who choose to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs and removing them from the highway.
Statistics show that in 2018, 34% of all traffic fatalities in Virginia were alcohol-related; that means of the 819 traffic fatalities in 2018, 278 of those people died in alcohol-related crashes. There were also 19,790 people convicted of DUI in Virginia in 2018.
I have a zero tolerance for those who drink and get behind the wheel of a vehicle. The laws of the Commonwealth have gotten stricter as well. If you drink and drive and seriously injure someone in Virginia, you will face harsher criminal penalties. A new law (HB1941) increases the offense of drunk driving that causes permanent and significant impairment to another from a class 6 felony to a class 4 felony, which comes with 2 to 10 years of prison time. The law also creates a class 6 felony for drunk driving that causes serious bodily injury, which is not permanently disabling. These new laws are some of the strictest in the nation. I applaud our lawmakers for passing these stricter laws concerning drinking and driving.
Each year I am contacted by the Richmond Chapter of MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) and asked to nominate a deputy who had excelled in the enforcement of the drunk driving laws here in Dinwiddie County. Founded by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit organization working to protect families from drunk driving and underage drinking. This is an annual award that is given to law enforcement officers from across central Virginia, recognizing them for their enforcement of Virginia’s drunk driving laws. This year I was pleased to nominate Corporal Ty Moore to receive this very prestigious award. This year MADD did a virtual social media awards ceremony because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Check out MADD’s Facebook page to see Corporal Moore and the rest of the 2020 MADD award recipients. I want to congratulate Corporal Moore and all of the officers who were recognized by MADD for all of their hard work in keeping our streets and roadways safe.