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VIPD: Driving Drunk Or High Puts Everyone in Danger … Click It Or Ticket

FREDERIKSTED — During the month of September, the Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD) once again began ramping up their enforcement efforts as part of a national crackdown on unrestrained drivers and impaired driving. 

Seatbelts are the best defense against impaired, aggressive, and distracted drivers. Using your seatbelt during a crash helps keep you safe and secure inside your vehicle however, being completely ejected from a vehicle is almost always deadly.

The challenge is to convince motorists to buckle up.  The most effective strategy for achieving and maintaining restraint use is well publicized high visibility enforcement.

The Virgin Islands will deploy short-term but sustained, high-visibility enforcement as a countermeasure to increase compliance with the Territory’s occupant restraint law.  

Driving Drunk or High Puts Everyone in Danger & Click It or Ticket high-visibility enforcement campaign is our community saying loud and clear that drunk drivers will pay before they cost our community another life.  

There’s no excuse for drinking and driving. By making a quick call for taxi or appointing a designated driver, you can stay safe, protect others and avoid arrest. Local law enforcement will be making a special effort to protect us all from drunk drivers. 

It is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher, yet every year, about one-third of all deaths on our roads involve drunk drivers. In 2018, there were total of 15 traffic fatalities, that’s five (5) more traffic fatalities than the previous fiscal year 2017; impaired driving territorial enforcement generated seventy-three (73) DUI arrests with two (2) fatalities due to impaired driving while five (5) contributed to unrestrained drivers and passengers.  There were 4,502 crashes territory wide.  

If these cold hard facts don’t stop drunk driving, how about a nice set of cold hard steel handcuffs? That’s what you’ll be wearing if you drink and drive.

Your arrest not only comes with shame and embarrassment, but with up to $10,000 in fines, increased insurance costs, and other expenses. 

The Office of Highway Safety wants to remind citizen and visitors in the U.S. Virgin Island that our attitude and actions must change when it comes to drunk driving.

It begins with all of us and how we treat our friends and neighbors. If you choose to drink and drive, and it is a choice, you risk not only your own life but the lives of innocent people in our community.

All it takes is a little planning ahead. Designate a sober driver. But whatever you do remember, Driving Impaired Can Cost You Your Freedom, or Worse – YOUR LIFE”. 

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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