Law enforcement teams up for DUI checkpoints throughout region

Published: Jul. 27, 2018 at 5:47 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 27, 2018 at 10:59 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Police across Central Virginia teamed up for DUI checkpoints Friday night and Saturday morning.

Multiple law enforcement agencies in the area joined forces to spot drunk drivers on the same night. Every single car that passes through certain areas are being stopped to make sure the driver is sober.

It's happening from Richmond to Chesterfield to Henrico to Powhatan. Police say it's for good reason.

A fun night on the town can result in a not-so-fun morning in jail.

"We see people out physically drinking and driving, coming up to a checkpoint having a beer. That's a big no no," said Sgt. Jonathan Nathanson of Richmond Police.

Nathanson is on a mission to save lives.

"Our DUI arrest numbers in the city are up. Over 200 drivers have been arrested for DUI just in Richmond city alone...Our fatality numbers are down from last year," he said.

To get drunk drivers off the street, officers will perform a series of tests.

"The first test is going to be the gaze and nystagmus," he demonstrated.

"Look at that pen. Can you see the pen alright? What I want you to do is with your right hand, touch the tip of that pin for me. Perfect," he said as NBC12 participated in a mock test.

What is he looking for?

"Involuntary jerking of the eye," Nathanson said.

There are other tests as well.

"We're looking for people to step off the line. We're looking for people with bad balance right now," he said while conducting another mock test.

"During that test, the first two seconds, people start falling down. Not even will people make it to the 10-second point before literally we'll have to catch them," Nathanson said.

They are stepping up enforcement to keep that from happening.

"You're definitely going to be losing your license with any type of DUI. It depends how long you'll be losing your license for. If you feel tipsy, take an Uber. Don't drink and drive."

If you're suspected of DUI, you'll be taken to the jail or a hospital for testing, followed by a night behind bars until you're sober. Not to mention the cost of having your car towed and the fees that come with a conviction.

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