Stopping DUIs in Wine Regions

Virginia ranks fifth in the United States in production of wine grapes, and the commonwealth's government is trying to increase tourism by more actively promoting the wineries. Recently, Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore unveiled the Shenandoah Valley American Viticultural Area's first wine region highway sign. This is the start to a program Governor Bob McDonnell announced last spring in an effort to attract tourists to Virginia's more than 200 wineries.

However, Chris Cochran, a California transportation safety official warns Virginia about the correlation between wine regions and fatal, alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes. He says that Napa County, aka wine country, is ranked number 9 out of 58 counties in California in the number of victims of alcohol-related injuries or deaths. Amador County, a rural wine-growing area in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, also has a huge number of alcohol-related vehicle deaths and injuries.

Randy Phillips, President of the Shenandoah Wine Growers Association, says that Virginia wineries are required by law to limit consumption if people appear to be drinking too much. "Most of us, I would say all of us, are very sensitive to wine consumption and public safety," said Phillips.

TV commercials have been funded by The California Office of Highway Safety to promote wine tasting safety. The Office has also started putting table toppers at vineyards with tips about having a designated driver.

If you did not use a designated driver and were arrested for a DUI in Virginia, contact DUI defense attorneys Jarrell, Hicks, and Waldman. Just call 888-783-9701 for a free consultation.

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