Small City, Big DUI Arrest Numbers

By Nicole Bell - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

COLONIAL HEIGHTS, VA (WWBT) - Driving under the influence can mean being arrested - perhaps, more so in Colonial Heights. New numbers show the city has one of the highest DUI arrest rates, for its population in our area.

Police say most of their DUI arrests involve folks visiting the area - not residents.

Colonial Heights' population is eleven times smaller than the city of Richmond, but when it comes to DUI arrests it has just as many.

"The last few years we've increased our numbers of arrests. I can attribute that to full staffing now," said Captain Keith early.

Here's the breakdown according to numbers released by state police. For 2008 Hopewell Police Department arrested 46 people for driving under the influence: Prince George 68, Colonial Heights 407, and Richmond 518.

Bernard Saxon has lived in Colonial Heights all his life. He calls the DUI stat surprising.

"It seems like been a lot for a little city," said Saxon.

Saxon says he has noticed more officers throughout the city.

"You feel safer when you know they're out here doing what they're supposed to be doing," he said.

Police say the city's residential population may be considered small - but it's the day time population is not.

"We have a large commercial development in the city - a lot of folks come to Colonial Heights to shop and travel through so, the population is deceiving when it comes to traffic there's a lot of traffic on Colonial Heights," Early said.

Police say, their DUI stat is proof - they're being proactive. Numbers compiled in the report are submitted to state police by law enforcement in each locality.

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