Police nab 6 at DUI checkpoint

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Police netted six intoxicated drivers during their holiday-safety checkpoint this weekend.

The Suffolk Police Department and Virginia State Police teamed up for about five hours Saturday night on Nansemond Parkway for Checkpoint Strikeforce, a joint effort to identify and apprehend people driving under the influence of alcohol.

The program has state police joining with local authorities somewhere in Virginia every weekend between August and January to conduct a checkpoint, said Sgt. D. Sammy Carr, a VSP spokesman. Checkpoint Strikeforce hits every locality in the state at some point during the year.

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The visibility created by the program is key to its success, Carr said.

“Hopefully, just knowing we are out there somewhere in the state every weekend is a deterrent,” he said. “People never know when or where they will see a city police officer and state trooper waiting for him.”

Although the program targets DUI offenders, Suffolk officers also

ticketed a string of people for other

offenses, according to a press release issued by Lt. Debbie J. George, spokeswoman for the Suffolk Police Department. The offenses included:

* Refusal, 1offender;

* No Valid Operators License, 2

* Suspended Operators License, 4

* Inspection Violation, 6

* Registration Violation, 3

* Seatbelt Violation, 2

* Child Seat Violation, 2

* Defective Equipment, 4

* City Sticker, 1

* Drugs, 2

* Other Violations, 6

Statistically, Checkpoint Strikeforce has proven to be a success,

Carr said.

In 2002, the year the program started, there were 375 accidents involving drunk drivers. The number dropped to 343 last year, he said.