CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The Chesterfield County Police Department is warning impaired drivers to stay off the roads after a police captain was hit while on duty Saturday night.
Police Chief Jeffrey Katz posted a photo to his Facebook page showing the scene on Route 10 shortly after the crash on Saturday, Jan. 1.
The captain was treated and released from the hospital, while the impaired driver received medical attention and was booked in the Chesterfield County Jail.
“Do you know what he said to me? ‘I’d rather that lady hit me in the Tahoe than a family in a smaller car,'” Katz said in the post. “There is more work to do to ensure people realize that we are unapologetic about protecting our community from those who choose to operate a car while impaired.”
Chesterfield police arrested more than 1,100 impaired drivers last year.
Rae Carkhuff, public relations specialist with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), said traffic deaths caused by impaired driving are up by 15% in Virginia.
“They are not accidents. That’s the thing is that they’re crashes and they’re preventable,” she said. “It’s just not worth it. You could hurt somebody else or yourself.”
MADD is a non-profit that fights to end impaired driving and supports victims of impaired driving-related crimes.
Carkhuff said 32 people die in those types of crashes every day across the country.
“When we hear that somebody else, law enforcement or civilian has been impacted by drunk driving, it just makes us want to further our mission of ‘be responsible, be safe,'” Carkhuff said.
To help prevent these crashes, Carkhuff says drivers should always remember to never get behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. In addition, if you’re going out and plan on drinking, always have a backup plan.