Police on the lookout for impaired drivers

BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – On the 4th of July weekend, there are bound to be plenty of cookouts and at-home fireworks shows. In many cases, there is also alcohol.

“Generally, one beer they are fine.” said Lt. Jason McDaniel with the Beckley Police Department. “It’s when they’ve had three or 3.5 beers. They feel a little bit buzzed and that’s why they call it buzzed driving… That’s actually the worst time to drive.”

With warm weather and a popular holiday happening on Saturday, you’re likely to see more people on the road and more intoxicated drivers . Luckily, law enforcement officers are ready.

“Highway Safety was suspended due to COVID-19, but Highway Safety has reopened, so there is more manpower right now. Especially around the holidays, we always increase the manpower.”

Although drunk driving incidents tend to spike over holidays, McDaniel says that isn’t the only kind of intoxicated driving they’re looking out for.

“We see a lot of impaired driving due to other sources of intoxication other than alcohol. be it heroin, pills, meth, cocaine, marijuana, all kinds of impaired driving.”

Driving while intoxicated can lead to a huge financial loss after needing to pay legal fees and potentially replacing your vehicle. The most costly consequence, however, could be a person’s life.

“You’re not only taking a chance for yourself, you’re going to hurt other people. There’s innocent people out there. It could be someone on a bicycle or a kid walking. It could be another person in a car.”

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Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at ksimmons@woay.com.