Drinking and Driving Could Have Severe Consequences

Lynchburg, VA - As the warmer months near, police are heating up their enforcement efforts on the roads.

Higher temperatures go hand in hand with more alcohol related activities like cook-outs, parties and outdoor events like Friday Cheers.

There have been a few accidents lately that police say were alcohol related. Just a few weeks ago in Roanoke, a woman was charged with DUI after police say she hit and killed a bicyclist while driving drunk, and Thursday night in Danville a man had to be airlifted to Duke Hospital after police say he was driving drunk and crashed.

Police want to stress there are consequences to driving drunk.

"If you have to wake up every morning with the thought that your behavior took somebody else's life there's no escaping that, you live with that the rest of your life," said Ken Frederick, who is the co-owner of Academy of Driving in Lynchburg.

It can happen with just one drink too many. Drunk goggles show the effect alcohol can have on your vision.

"That is going to upset the way your eyes are focusing very much like alcohol has an effect on a person's eyes and the way that they have the ability to focus because alcohol being depressant- it relaxes the muscles, it relaxes the central nervous system, so when a person becomes intoxicated, they can't focus very well," said Frederick.

That is just the physical side of being intoxicated. There are mental effects as well.

"Personalities change. From mean to happy or from happy to mean. Personality issues could also take a person who's very meek and mild and make them jump up in the middle of the bar and shout 'I'll take on anybody in here," said Frederick.

"There's different check points coming out, there's a lot more officers on the streets, one thing that we have is we have a full-time DUI officer on the weekends that is out constantly during the nighttime, during DUI hours," said Mike Howard.

Officer Howard is a Senior Specialist for the Traffic Safety Division at LPD. He says they strive to educate the public about the importance of not drinking and driving.

"Their ability to drive is impaired, they're going to do things, they may take risks that they normally wouldn't take. So it's important that they don't take those risks because other lives are at stake," said Howard.