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STS&G News Goodove in the News

Virginia police agencies step up drunk driving patrols during holiday season

The holiday season is usually a festive time, but it can also be a dangerous time on the roads. Police have stepped up patrols across Virginia, trying to catch people driving while impaired.

The added patrols are a part of Virginia’s “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign. 145 agencies across the commonwealth are taking part, with 646 saturation patrols and 71 sobriety checkpoints planned through New Year’s Day.

Last year, 432 Virginians were injured and 23 people lost their lives between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, according to Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s office. That represents a 77 percent increase in fatalities from the previous holiday season.

“It’s sort of ironic because it’s a very happy season for many people,” said Michael Goodove, head of the Southside chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). “But it can turn tragic so quickly. And that’s why so important to exercise a higher degree of vigilance during this time.”

Goodove lost his brother in a drunk driving crash more than 30 years ago. And ever since, he’s been advocating for laws and other efforts to get drunk drivers off the roads.

“In society we have problems where we search and search and search for solutions, with impaired driving we have the solution for it and there a lot of resources available,” he said. There’s no excuse for it now.”

The Virginia State Police recommends these steps for people planning to attend holiday parties this weekend:

  1. Plan ahead – designate a sober driver, call a friend, or utilize public transportation, cabs or ride-hailing services like Uber or Lyft
  2. Don’t let your friends drive drunk
  3. Remain alert for impaired drivers on highways..and dial #77 to reach the nearest Virginia State Police emergency communications center. The agency says one call could save someone’s life.

Goodove said it also comes down to personal responsibility.
“They wear the seat belts, they practice safe driving stuff,” he said. “I think we all know it. … The time has come and it’s overdue that we should implement these tools.”

Alcohol isn’t the only cause of impairment that’s concerning officials. There’s a growing number of incidents from driving while being impaired by drugs like marijuana. Goodove said that will likely be a focus of MADD and law enforcement in the new year.

Article by: Samuel King | View the full story on WTKR.com

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Plan ahead if you’re drinking this holiday season

Don’t drink and drive this holiday season

The holidays can be a fun time of year with a lot of parties, but you can also wind up locked up behind bars if you drink and drive.

This holiday season, law enforcement, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), and even a man who has been arrested for a DUI are warning people about the risks of drunk driving.

The News 3 Investigative Team obtained video of people getting arrested for driving under the influence who are stumbling, reeking of alcohol and putting others in danger on the road.

Authorities say too many people are getting arrested for a DUI this time of year.

Virginia Beach has one of the highest DUI conviction rates across the state, according to the DMV.

Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney Colin Stolle said there are several areas in Virginia Beach that are hotspots for drunk driving. He said along Shore Drive, the Oceanfront, and Town Center are areas where there is a large collection of bars and restaurants where people frequently drink.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported drunk driving fatalities increased by 14 percent between 2020 and 2021, causing heartache for so many people.

MADD Southside Representative Michael Goodove said these crimes not only impact the victim’s family but also the offender’s family as well.

Goodove lives with the pain of losing his young brother to a drunk driver. The tragedy happened back in 1990.

“Not a day goes by that I don’t think about it. It really breaks my heart, and it breaks my heart to see other victims added for something that’s so completely preventable,” said Goodove.

Experts say a DUI can be a sign of a substance abuse problem.

The National Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reported that in 2021, about 16.5 percent of people over 12 years old were classified as having a substance use disorder.

Dr. Kevin Cuffee is the Program Supervisor for Adult Correctional Services for Human Services in Virginia Beach. He runs two programs inside the Virginia Beach Jail to help inmates overcome substance abuse issues.

He said unfortunately, sometimes it takes people getting arrested and put in jail to realize they have a substance abuse problem.

Experts say different emotions or problems can be magnified during the holidays.

Nicolas Matamoros was arrested for a DUI in Virginia Beach back in July. He spoke to News 3 from jail.

He praised the programs inside the Virginia Beach Jail for helping him identify problems with depression, anxiety and other issues with emotions.

“Our addictions are a symptom of a bigger problem, and I think the program is really geared to finding out what the bigger problem is,” said Matamoros.

Virginia Beach Sheriff Rocky Holcomb said the purpose of the programs in jail is not only to help inmates while they’re locked up, but also when they get out.

“Our hope is that we can give this training, education and focus and break the cycle of the addiction in criminal activity and live a productive life. That’s our hope,” said Sheriff Holcomb.

And to prevent yourself from getting arrested for a DUI, plan ahead this holiday season.

“In this day in age, there’s so many options out there. You can call an Uber, call Lyft, call other driving services. I would suggest that if you’re going to go out and have an evening of cocktails make sure you have a plan,” said Sheriff Holcomb.

“The message is pretty simple, if you choose to drink and you’re of age to do so, don’t drive,” said Goodove.

Article By: Margaret Kavanagh | View the full story on WTKR.com

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Deadly police chase and crash in Chesapeake marks at least 8 ending in crashes in 2023; 5 where another driver is hit

It’s the second case in which the driver of the suspected vehicle died, the first case happening in January.

Article by: Alex Littlehales | Link to full article

CHESAPEAKE, Va. — A deadly police chase and crash marks at least the eighth time in 2023 when a police pursuit involving the Chesapeake Police Department ended in a car crash.

According to CPD, around 1:16 p.m. last Friday, an officer attempted to stop a sedan for both failing to maintain their lane of travel and a registration violation on South Military Highway. 

The driver of the car did not stop, and when the cars reached the intersection of South Military Highway and George Washington Highway North, the sedan crashed into an uninvolved SUV, police said. 

The driver of the sedan died at the scene, later identified as 23-year-old Derron Williams Jr. of Norfolk. The driver of the uninvolved SUV was hospitalized, but she is expected to survive. 

According to what’s been publicly reported through the Chesapeake Police Department, this marks at least eight police pursuits involving the department in which a pursuit led to a crash. It’s the second case in which the driver of the suspected vehicle died, the first case happening in January. 

Of those eight crashes, five of them involve another civilian driver being struck as well. In total across the eight police pursuit crashes, more than a dozen cars have been damaged. 

“Once it turns into a chase, there is a tremendous risk to the community,” Mike Goodove said, attorney at Swartz, Taliaferro, Swartz, & Goodove.

Goodove is in the midst of a civil lawsuit related to the topic of police pursuits in Chesapeake. In 2021, a police pursuit then caused a suspected driver to crash into another civilian driver, which initiated a lawsuit against four Chesapeake officers as well as the driver in Norfolk Circuit Court.

Goodove said there is no trial date yet for the litigation, but the latest incident speaks to the greater conversations about the risks versus the reward of a police pursuit. 

“That’s what occurs in these chases. You have a dangerous situation that gets escalated by the actions of a law enforcement officer.”

This year, Chesapeake Police Chief Mark Solesky updated the Department’s pursuit policy. He issued new language that explicitly details the considerations and risks of a police pursuit. 

“If our number one priority is public safety, then in some situations the most professional and reasonable decision will be to terminate a pursuit in the interest of public safety,” reads the policy introduction.

Another line written under the policy’s procedures is:

“A pursuit shall be terminated if the pursuing officer is being required to drive at speeds considered to be excessive for the environment, population density, type of roadway (city streets vs. inter-state highways) roadway conditions, or in a manner which exceeds the performance capabilities of the police vehicle or the capabilities of the police vehicle operator.”

Chief Solesky did not have time Monday to answer questions about this story, per a CPD spokesperson.

Goodove praised the added language, but questions whether they are being properly implemented by the department. 

“I think the additions are worth while but are they being follow? The policy is synonymous with the law. Officers have a right to a right to pursue, they do. But once that endangers other members of the community, they have to break the pursuit off.”

At least four of the crashes following a police pursuit involved a stolen vehicle. 

STS&G News


STS&G is proud to announce that Michael Goodove, Elizabeth Ufkes and Mark Stokes were selected as 2023 Virginia Super Lawyers. Goodove and Ufkes were recognized in the area of Personal Injury Law and Stokes was recognized as a Rising Star in the area of Criminal Defense. Our attorneys were recognized as a result of their excellent professional reputations and through Super Lawyers’ Nomination, Research and Blue Ribbon Review Process. STS&G specializes in personal injury and criminal defense litigation. 

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Virginia Beach man raises awareness this holiday weekend after losing brother to drunk driver

Millions are hitting the road over the Fourth of July holiday weekend for barbecues, beach trips, and fireworks.

It’s also a time where Virginia State Police (VSP) are encouraging all travelers to drive safe and sober.

For Mike Goodove, he’s raising awareness after his family was impacted by a drunk driver.

“I lost my brother 35 years ago to a drunk driver, and since that day there’s not a moment goes by where I don’t think about it. I would never want another family going through that,” said Goodove.

Goodove continues to cherish the memories of his brother whose life was cut short at just 19 years old.

“He was a University of Virginia student, and he was coming from the library, when an impaired driver with underage people in the car ran into him and took his life,” said Goodove.

Since his brother’s death, Goodove has worked to raise awareness about the dangers of impaired driving and help others through the group Mothers Against Drunk Driving, also known as MADD.

According to VSP data, traffic crashes have already taken the lives of nearly 400 people in the first 6 months of 2023.

Throughout this Independence Day weekend, law enforcement across Hampton Roads will send out officers for the Drive Sober or Get Pulled over campaign, with police being on the lookout for anyone driving under the influence.

“When a person is impaired and they get behind the wheel, they have a weapon behind them that does devastating affects on society,” said Goodove.

For millions of Americans, July 4th celebrations include alcohol.

MADD experts say drivers should have a plan for a designated driver, ride sharing service, or public transportation.

“The consequences of using drugs beside alcohol and driving you should not be driving impaired at all there’s no good reason for it,” said Goodove.

As part of VSP’s ongoing efforts to increase safety and reduce traffic deaths on highways, troopers will be increasing patrols starting at 12:01 a.m. on July 3 through Midnight on July 4.

Article by: By: Kelsey Jones | Read the full news article on WTKR

STS&G News Goodove in the News

Goodove Selected as President of Southern Bank’s Hampton Roads Regional Advisory Board

Michael L. Goodove, Esq., a personal injury attorney and partner in the Norfolk law firm of Swartz, Taliaferro, Swartz & Goodove, has been selected as President of Southern Bank’s Hampton Roads Regional Advisory Board.  Goodove was selected as he is a leader in the business and overall community as well as a lifelong resident of Hampton Roads.  Southern Bank was founded in 1901 and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern BancShares (N.C.), Inc. With its Corporate Headquarters located in Mount Olive, the Bank has total assets of approximately $2 billion and over 60 locations serving North Carolina and Virginia.

STS&G News Goodove in the News

Va. Beach man pushing for drunk driving prevention technology in cars after losing brother to drunk driver

Attorney, Mike Goodove, sat down with WTKR to talk about the latest push by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to have drunk driving prevention technology in new cars.

By: Antoinette DelBel | Link to the full article on WTKR.com

NORFOLK, Va. – Mike Goodove holds on tight to a picture of him and his younger brother Jeffrey at the University of Virginia in 1990. It’s the last photo ever taken of the pair.

Five months after the photo, Goodove said his 19-year-old brother was killed by a drunk driver.

“He was a wonderful person,” he said. “He was very outgoing; had many friends; was a pre-med student; was headed to medical school; and by no fault of his own, or the other individuals in his car, his life was cut short.”

That horrific night was more than 30 years ago.

Since then, Goodove has been advocating for tougher drunk driving laws as the Southside chapter president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). He started the local chapter a couple of years after his brother’s death.

“We’ve been very active with victim work as well as legislatively,” Goodove said. “We’ve seen a lot of very good changes occur in this area.”

The Virginia Beach native and attorney, says he supports the latest push from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to have drunk driving prevention technology in new cars.

The hope is to cut down on the number of alcohol-related crashes.

“We’ve got the technology available; it’s cost-effective and makes is safe for everybody on the highway,” said Goodove. “The problem with impaired driving is when somebody is impaired and get behind the wheel, they’ve got a several-ton weapon at their disposal and it’s dangerous, not only to them, to others on the roadway.”

The NTSB is recommending installing new equipment in cars to keep impaired drivers from getting behind the wheel. Devices include alcohol detection systems and driver monitoring systems.

In an investigation crash report released Tuesday, the agency said driving under the influence of alcohol is one of the biggest causes of highway crashes in the country.

Here in Virginia, numbers from the DMV show so far this year, there was a total of 178 deaths related to alcohol car crashes. That’s slightly lower than the 197 car deaths related to alcohol at this same time last year.

Goodove believes the technology could help save lives and could have prevented his brother’s death.

“It just tears me apart to watch what it does to a family,” he said.

For now, that picture of Goodove and his brother sits in his Norfolk law office as a reminder to never stop fighting.

“I think it would be a wonderful tool because unfortunately, some people don’t recognize that they are impaired and get behind wheel,” said Goodove. “They should, but don’t.”

Congress passed a law last year requiring the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to set the safety standard for automakers to install alcohol-monitoring technology within three years, but the agency can ask for an extension.

Goodove is hopeful the equipment will be installed soon.

STS&G News Goodove in the News

Goodove is recognized for 30 years of service to MADD

Michael Goodove received recognition from MADD in appreciation for 30 years of dedication and service to MADD and the victims of impaired driving in Virginia. Goodove has been the President of Southside MADD since 1992, and has assisted thousands of victims of impaired drivers. 

STS&G News Goodove in the News

Goodove Selected to the “Top 100” of the 2022 Virginia Super Lawyers

STS&G are proud to announce that Michael Goodove was selected as the “Top 100” of the 2022 Virginia Super Lawyers.  Goodove received this honor as he was ranked as the top of the list in the 2022 Virginia Super Lawyers Nomination, Research and Blue Ribbon Review Process.  Mr. Goodove specializes in personal injury law. 

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Elizabeth Ufkes named to Virginia Lawyers Weekly’s Influential Women of Law for 2022

Virginia Lawyers Weekly has announced Elizabeth Ufkes as a recipient of the 2022 Influential Women in Law award. This award honors exceptional women attorneys and judges who have improved the legal profession in the Old Dominion and left their individual marks in the law of the state.

Mrs. Ufkes is being recognized for her exemplary leadership and contributions to the community. Mrs. Ufkes joined Swartz, Taliaferro, Swartz & Goodove in 2012, and represents victims in personal injury claims.  She is passionate about ensuring that all her clients are treated fairly and receive the best possible outcomes.  A ceremony will be held in Richmond at the end of May honoring Ms. Ufkes for her excellent work on behalf of the justice system and for her clients, her commitment to Hampton Roads and her service to the profession.