Sheriff's Office Gets New Strategy to Reduce DUIs

AUGUSTA COUNTY -- The Augusta County Sheriff's Office has a new tool it says will help cut down on DUIs. a new grant, through VCU and the Valley Community Service Board, will allow for beefed up patrols as well.

With seven fatalities in crashes this year, the sheriff's office says a new sign will help.

The two-year grant allowed the sheriff's office to buy a $19,000 battery and solar powered sign which reads, “Do not drink and drive.” Plus, there is money to fund extra patrols during key times when people are out drinking and driving.

The sign will be moved around depending on events. For instance, next week it will be near the Riverside prom.

This purchase came after research looked at strategies, which could stop 18 and 24 year olds from crashing.

Lt. J. Monty Sellers has another piece of advice to stay safe on the road.

"Your best defense is to wear a seat belt at all times, even though you may not be the one drinking alcohol, but you never know the one on the opposite side that comes across the line and hits you. The seat belt's your best defense to injuries," said Lt. Sellers.

In November, leaders will look at data and see if crash rates are down.

With the extra patrols, it's enough to pay the deputies time and a half plus gas.

The sheriff's office will be putting two more strategies into place. One of those includes working with stores and educating them, if they're not following the rules.

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