Police Vanish, Drunks Drive

I work at a small business in Old Town Alexandria and often work against deadlines that have me leaving the office rather late in the evening.

One thing I have noticed over the last year and a half is that the odds of seeing a police officer on the street from 9 p.m. to midnight are just about nil. It is puzzling, given the excellent police presence during the rest of the day, why there never seem to be any police on the streets when the restaurants and bars are letting out. There is certainly no shortage of drunk drivers on the road at that time; I have seen hundreds of obviously impaired drivers leaving the city on Interstate 495 and Route 1. What I have never seen are police officers from any jurisdiction doing anything about it.

Alexandria city and Fairfax County police have jurisdictions that meet at the Route 1/I-495 bridge; Virginia state police have jurisdiction anywhere in the state. Yet they are all conspicuously absent when the drunks are hitting the road. Could this have something to do with the fact that restaurants and bars represent a big chunk of the local tax base and that aggressive enforcement of DUI laws might cut into someone's revenue?

I hear various groups bemoaning the loss of life caused by drunk drivers, but I don't see anyone doing anything about it, at least here in Virginia.

Dave Rutledge