VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) - In anticipation of the number of people celebrating the New Year's weekend, officers from the Virginia Beach Police Department were out in heavy force Saturday night.
Virginia Beach police said the results from one of the overnight safety checkpoints show their patrols seem to be working.
In just an hour and a half, beach police arrested six people on DUI charges overnight. Officers wrote 17 tickets, including eight for suspended driver's licenses and one person was arrested on an outstanding robbery charge.
In 2010, Virginia Beach police charged 2,429 people with driving under the influence of alcohol. Of the 17 fatal crashes that occurred in 2010, seven of them involved alcohol or drugs, according to the statement.
Police officers conducted rolling checkpoints throughout Saturday night and into Sunday morning. The first checkpoint took place at Birdneck Road and General Booth Boulevard.
Overall, DUI fatalities were down in 2011 from the year before, by four percent. Seventeen of the fatal crashes that occurred in 2010 involved alcohol or drugs.
Many of the revelers in the popular Town Center area of Virginia Beach told WAVY.com that they had planned ahead to take cabs home after New Year's events. "We thought about it [taking a cab] prior to that but also we passed about 37 [patrol] cars on the way, so we figured that was a good reinforcement," said Russell Tolerton, of Virginia Beach.
Police presence was heavy in the Town Center bar and restaurant area and police told WAVY.com that patrols would remain heavy all over the city through Sunday morning.
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