At least five arrests were made at three Virginia Beach checkpoints for driving under the influence on St. Patrick’s Day. Police set up these checkpoints as a way to catch drunk drivers on the roads.
"I view the checkpoints as proactive rather than reactive," Officer J.M. Baker said. "They make people think, maybe there's going to be a checkpoint on the way home, maybe I should drink responsibly."
St. Patrick’s Day, along with July 4th and Labor Day, are some of the biggest days for DUIs, even bigger than New Year’s Eve, according to Sgt. Scott Wichtendahl, who is the head of the Selective Enforcement Team that specializes in DUI and traffic. The Selective Enforcement Team made eight DUI arrests this St. Patrick’s Day, which was more than New Year’s Eve.
Police officers at the St. Patrick’s Day checkpoints stopped 328 vehicles between 8:00 PM and 1:00 AM. The DUI checkpoints were set up in the 2400 block of Shore Drive, on General Booth Boulevard and on the I-264 West access ramp on South Independence Boulevard. Checkpoints are usually set up in areas where there is a high concentration of bars.
During the stop, drivers were asked for their driver’s license and registration and officers were looking for any sign of impairment. Some drivers were also asked to complete field sobriety tests. Many of the police officers are experts in identifying drunk drivers based on their behavior.
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