“Anything I can do to prevent that from happening to another family, I’m going to do it.”
That’s what Virginia State Police Trooper Justin Joiner said of his efforts to spot and stop drinking and driving, referencing the pain felt by one family who dealt with a loss from drinking and driving. In his search for impaired drivers, he keeps an eye out for speeders, those going way below the speed limit and drivers weaving in and out of lanes.
Joiner, who previously served with the Harrisonburg Police Department, was among those honored by Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program during a banquet at James Madison University’s Festival Conference and Student Center, according to an article in Tuesday’s edition of the Daily News-Record.
Joiner and the other honored officers are doing an admirable thing by dedicating their role in law enforcement to impeding drunk driving.
It’s not exactly breaking news that drinking and driving is a dangerous thing to do. And it seems many have caught on to what should be obvious. Drunken driving deaths have fallen by a third in the last three decades, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. But the improvement doesn’t mean the problem is over. According to 2017 NHTSA data, almost 30 people in the United States died daily in drunk-driving crashes.
It’s important to educate one’s self on just how serious this matter is and how to behave responsibly if drinking. And for those who don’t care to protect the lives of themselves and others by not drinking and driving, we can all be thankful for Joiner, Harrisonburg police officer Paywand Sofy, Rockingham County Sheriff’s Deputy Joe Baroch and Bridgewater police officer Christopher Earman and other Shenandoah Valley officers to be honored by MADD.