Va. State Police step up patrols for July Fourth holiday

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Associated Press

Posted on July 4, 2013 at 10:55 AM

Updated Thursday, Jul 4 at 5:41 PM

RICHMOND (AP) -- Virginia State Police are out in force this Independence Day holiday.

Increased patrols began Thursday and continue through Sunday night in an effort to reduce crashes, fatalities and injuries caused by speeding, impaired driving and failure to use seat belts.

State Police say 10 percent of the crashes in Virginia during the July 4th holiday were alcohol-related and during the 2011 July 4th holiday, 38 percent of the fatal crashes on the nation’s roads involved a driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 grams per deciliter or higher.

Last year, police cited more than 9,200 speeders and 2,600 reckless drivers and 900 drivers were charged for failing to buckle up. State police also investigated 719 traffic crashes.

Ten people died in traffic accidents in Virginia last year.

AAA Mid-Atlantic says it expects more than 1.1 million Virginians to travel during the holiday weekend. That's down 1.4 percent from 2012.

To help make your drive on the highways easier, temporary lane closures have been suspended across Virginia.

The Virginia Department of Transportation says there won't be lane closure through noon Friday.

AP-WF-07-03-13 0649GMT

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