The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest News

December 7, 2012

Southern highway program leading state in DUI arrests

The Southern Regional Highway Safety Program, and specifically Raleigh County, is leading the state in DUI arrests, driving while suspended arrests and occupant protection.

In addition, two of the top five officers with the most DUI arrests in the state are from Raleigh County agencies.

Lt. Paul Blume, Southern Regional Highway Safety Program coordinator, said the seven-county region’s arrests averaged one per every 6.9 hours of patrol whereas the state average was one for every 12.5 hours of patrol.

Driving those numbers were Beckley Police Sgt. Frankie Shelton, ranked second in the state for DUI arrests; Raleigh County Sheriff’s Cpl. Jason Redden, third in the state; and Raleigh County Sheriff’s Lt. Randy Burgess, 10th in the state, confirmed State Highway Safety Director Bob Tipton.

Tipton added that the Beckley Police Department ranks fifth in the state for the most DUI arrests and the Raleigh County Sheriff’s Office ranks sixth.

Between January and October 2012, Beckley Police have made 306 DUI arrests and Raleigh County has made 247.

“The Highway Safety Program offers support to police agencies by providing overtime for police officers to go out and specifically work to get drunk drivers off the road,” said Tipton. “These police officers have a full plate. Even if they personally prioritize drunk driving, there are so many calls they end up spending their time going from call to call. Funding through this program allows these guys who are good workers to get out there and make a difference.”

Blume explained that the southern regional program is comprised of seven counties and 36 departments.

“We attribute our high numbers to our outstanding officers and departments that have bought in to what we are trying to do as a highway safety office. We are taking DUI seriously and have dedicated officers working to take drunks off the road. These are numbers we are proud of,” Blume said.

Tipton added that last year a total of 9,477 drunk drivers were arrested across the state.

Currently he anticipates those numbers to be around 10,000 for 2012.

He also noted that West Virginia is chronically one of the top 10 states with the highest alcohol-related fatalities in the nation, in part due to West Virginia’s rural and dangerous roads.

The last several years have seen a downward trending in alcohol-related fatalities, from 378 in 2008 to 315 in 2010, Tipton said.

— E-mail:

Text Only
Latest News
  • Video: Meat market

    The price of beef has everyone in a stew these days, and it doesn’t stop with the “what’s for dinner” protein. Prices of pork and chicken are on the rise, as well.

    April 17, 2014

  • Child care in state lacking in quality

    Child care programs of minimum or unrated quality are watching over about 93 percent of West Virginia children enrolled in them, a report released Wednesday said.

    April 17, 2014

  • Still alive, TWV’S 54th season is all ‘Hatfields and McCoys’

    Although the schedule is a bit different than originally planned, Theatre West Virginia Act II is officially alive, with 17 scheduled showings of “Hatfields and McCoys.”
    The curtain will rise for its 54th season on July 11, and Manager Scott Hill said these 17 shows will be produced with the same quality theater patrons have come to know and love over the years.

    April 17, 2014

  • jobfair Spring Job Fair: 400 job seekers meet 22 employers

    More than 400 people came looking for a new job Wednesday at The Register-Herald’s Spring Job Fair at the Tamarack Conference Center.
    This year there were 22 area employers in attendance which gave potential hires more options in many different fields.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Train derailment reported in Mercer County

    The derailment occurred in the Rock area of Mercer County, according to Norfolk Southern spokesman Robin Chapman.

    April 16, 2014

  • Report: High-quality child care lacking in state

    Child care programs of minimum or unrated quality are watching over about 93 percent of West Virginia children enrolled in them, a report released Wednesday said.

    April 16, 2014

  • Rahall raises $324k in WVa’s 3rd; Jenkins, $194k

    Democrat U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall raised almost $324,000 last quarter for his contested re-election bid, while GOP challenger Evan Jenkins banked about $193,500.

    April 16, 2014

  • State regional jails ban touching during visits

    Concerns about drug contraband have prompted a ban on regional jail inmates touching loved ones during supervised contact visits.

    April 16, 2014

  • Renew W.Va. car registration online

    State residents strapped for time got a break Tuesday when Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and Acting Division of Motor Vehicles Director Steve Dale announced new DMV online options for renewing vehicle registration.

    April 16, 2014

  • Manchin says mines should speak out about coal

    The Democratic senator leading the battle against the White House’s strategy to fight climate change urged the mining industry on Tuesday to speak out about coal’s role in providing affordable, reliable electricity to the country to help combat strict new emissions rules for coal-fired power plants.

    April 16, 2014