Police targeting drunk drivers
Efforts come on the heels of early-morning alcohol-related traffic fatality
Henrico County Police officials are planning heavy enforcement efforts during the coming Fourth of July weekend, with a particular focus on drunk drivers.
The weekend typically is one of the deadliest holidays nationwide for alcohol-impaired traffic fatalities.
Earlier today, a 37-year-old woman died in a crash in Eastern Henrico that police determined was alcohol- and speed-related. The car's driver, Charles L. Smith of the 200 block of Taylor Road in Sandston, was charged with driving under the influence (his third such offense) and driving while his license was revoked. The crash occurred shortly after 2 a.m. on Meadow Road, when Smith was driving east, drove off the left side of the road,struck a utility pole and drove through a wooden fence.
The vehicle overturned multiple times and came to rest on the passenger side in the woods. Both Smith and the passenger, Tara Lee Mason, were transported to VCU Medical Center. Mason was pronounced dead at 5 a.m. Smith was treated for non-life threatening injuries.
In an effort to prevent similar outcomes this weekend, Henrico officers will be taking part in the "Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest" enforcement.
Statistics gathered from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration over the past 25 years show that, on average, nearly half of all deadly traffic crashes over each year's July 4 holiday involved some level of alcohol.
In fact, 410 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes nationally during the Fourth of July weekend in 2009. Of that number, 40 percent involved drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 grams per deciliter or higher.
"The Fourth of July is a time most Americans spend celebrating with family and friends, but it is also one of the year's deadliest times on our roadways. So we will be out in force cracking down on drunk driving. If you are caught driving impaired, you will be arrested," said Sergeant K.R. Burnett.
All 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have made it illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher.
"We want people to be careful all weekend, but particularly at night," said Burnett. "The rate of alcohol impairment among drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2009 was four times higher at night than during the day."
Impaired driving is one of America's deadliest problems. In 2009 alone, 10,839 people were killed in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes, accounting for nearly 32 percent of all traffic-related fatalities in the United States. That's an average of one impaired-driving fatality every 48 minutes in 2009.
Burnett said that impaired drivers not only take the risk of hurting or killing themselves or someone else but also risk the trauma and financial costs that an alcohol-impaired-driving crash or an arrest can create. Violators often face jail time, the loss of their driver licenses, higher insurance rates and dozens of other unanticipated expenses.
"Alcohol impairs many of the skills that safe driving requires. So we will be showing zero tolerance, and anyone caught driving with a BAC of .08 or higher will be arrested," Burnett said. "It's simply not worth the risk to you or to the thousands of innocent victims who are hurt or killed each year by drunk drivers. So if you are over the limit, you will be arrested."
For details, visit http://www.StopImpairedDriving.com .
Citizen Staff Reports 12/15/2014
CVWMA curbside recycling collection and trash collections will have a one day delay in collections Dec. 25-26 and Jan. 1-2. There will be no collections on Dec. 25 or Jan. 1.
Curbside recycling collections Monday through Wednesday will be on regular schedule. Red Thursday and Red Friday curbside recyclers will have a one day delay in collection services Dec. 25-26. Blue Thursday and Blue Friday curbside recyclers will have one day delay in collection services Jan. 1-2. Containers should be placed at the curb by 7 a.m. on collection day. All Friday collections will take place on Saturday. > Read more.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) will host a candlelight vigil of remembrance and hope Tuesday, Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. at the University of Richmond, outside the Cannon Chapel. The public is invited to attend and join MADD to honor victims of impaired driving crashes, while helping to remind the community to be safe during the holidays. > Read more.
Among participants at the Seventh Annual Coordinators2Inc Golf Tournament and awards luncheon Oct. 3 were (from left) Rebecca Ricardo, C2 Inc executive director; Kevin Derr, member of the winning foursome; Sharon Richardson, C2 Inc founder; and Frank Ridgway and Jon King, members of the winning foursome.
Held at The Crossings Golf Club, the tournament will benefit placement of children from Virginia's foster care system into permanent families through Coordinators2. > Read more.
For our Top 10 calendar events this weekend, click here! > Read more.
One of the most unique holiday traditions in Henrico, the James River Parade of Lights, takes place tomorrow. The viewing spot in Henrico will be at Osborne Park in Varina. Another annual event in the east end is the Eastern Henrico Holiday Extravaganza, taking place this year at The Armour House & Gardens and the Dabbs House Museum. In the West End, the Glorious Christmas Nights’ production of “Under the Same Stars” at West End Assembly of God will conclude its run on Sunday. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.
Halligan blends local theme with tasty classics
A Halligan fan for years, I regularly patronized the Shockoe Bottom location before the roomier Short Pump site opened. Call me cornball, but I am a sucker for the decor – dominated by a fire engine with beer taps extending from the sides – as well as the story behind it.
Owner Shawn Gregory, a retired Henrico firefighter, outfitted the Halligan West location with a 1967 fire truck that his own father rode in his early career at the Highland Springs station.
Among other firefighter memorabilia incorporated into the theme are buckets and firefighter helmets suspended from the ceiling to serve as lamps, and fire hoses wound into the railing of the patio. The walls are covered with tools, photos, badges, and memorabilia from fire companies around the country, and Gregory rents a small "VIP" party deck on top of the fire engine and donates proceeds to charity, including a burn foundation. > Read more.
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