Hampton Roads.com reports that DUI arrests over this past holiday weekend were up over previous years, while the number of highways deaths was down.
At least one of the 9 deaths on the highways was thought to be alcohol related. Totals statewide by Virginia State Troopers are listed as 175 DUI arrests, 2,780 reckless driving citations, and 10,116 speeding tickets.
In 2009, there were 16 deaths and 123 DUI charges over the same period.
What these numbers mean is always open to interpretation. The police will always say that every statistic indicates that they need more patrols, and that there are still too many drunk drivers on the road.
More arrests of dangerous impaired drivers that take people off the road is a good thing, but arrest numbers are generally proportional to the amount of effort and police officers on the streets, and rarely suggests that more officers actually reduced the number of people who may drive while impaired.
But prevention is a difficult thing, and isn’t accomplished by police presence alone.