Major Campaign To Stop Drunk Driving In Central Virginia’s Hispanic Communities Kicks Off

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A big campaign to stop drunk driving and alcohol related crimes is underway in Central Virginia’s Hispanic communities.

“There was a problem with understanding what the laws were in America,” said SAFE Community Coordinator Maya Brewer.

To help address the problem, big yellow signs are being installed at local businesses and neighborhoods.

They say: “Drink in this alcohol free zone and you’ll be found guilty of a misdemeanor.”

The message is also written in Spanish for those who don’t know English.

“They want to do the right thing,” said Brewer.  “They just need to know what to do.”

The SAFE Latino Coalition is joining with Richmond and Chesterfield Police, the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, and 40 other partners to launch the alcohol free zone project.

The signs will go up at local businesses and in several neighborhoods.

Public service announcements are also running on Spanish TV and radio stations – all in an effort to reduce alcohol related crimes.

“It is important to let them know about these kinds of things and to educate them because we want to avoid the common mistakes,” said Chesterfield County Multicultural Liaison Juan Santacoloma

Campaign organizers say many Latinos are here from countries with different alcohol cultures and they’re unfamiliar with Virginia ABC laws.

“They need education and we need to educate them to be better members of the community,” said Santacoloma.

“What’s the bottom line goal here?” 8News Senior Reporter Nate Eaton asked.

“Education, education, education,” said Brewer.

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