The Prince William County Police Department is joining law enforcement agencies throughout Virginia in the annual “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,” a DUI law-enforcement and public education campaign that runs through Jan. 1.
The increased enforcement is an effort to educate the public about Virginia’s drunk-driving laws and to encourage drivers to refrain from getting behind the wheel if they have been drinking.
“By educating our communities on the importance of driving sober, we can help avoid loss of life, debilitating injuries and unbearable heartache,” Sharon Richardson, a Prince William Police Department spokeswoman, said in a press release.
A Virginia law passed in 2020 increases the offense of drunk driving that causes permanent and significant impairment to another person from a class 6 felony to a class 4 felony, which comes with a two to 10 year prison sentence.
The law also creates a class 6 felony for drunk driving that causes serious bodily injury, which is not permanently disabling, the release said.
“Impaired driving is both reckless and preventable. Drivers break the law by driving impaired, putting thousands of travelers at risk every day,” the release said. “The police department wants drivers to know impaired driving is not tolerated. No excuses and no warnings. If drivers are caught driving impaired, they will be arrested.”