VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) - Police in several parts of Hampton Roads increased patrols this Saint Patrick's Day weekend. Officers will be increasing patrols in areas with a lot of restaurants, bars, and foot traffic like Virginia Beach Town Centre.
Virginia Beach Police planned to do DUI checkpoints on Saturday but had to cancel those because of the inclement weather. Instead they conducted saturation patrols to watch for drunk drivers. He and several officers will be out in high numbers, patrolling for drunk drivers.
Photos: DUI checkpoints
"The officers stay mobile. They stay in their cars, and they spread themselves out there," Sgt. Miller. "Therefore our traffic enforcement areas are spread out wider."
Sergeant Millers says "saturation patrols" are not all about writing tickets, and pulling people over. Officers hope when people see all the extra police in the area they will think twice about drinking and getting behind the wheel.
"That sight alone might compel them to go ahead at the end of the night call a friend, call a taxi so they are not one of those people that is going to be on the side of the road with a police car behind them," Sgt. Miller.
Sgt. Miller also says the laws have gotten tougher for DUI violations, even for first timers.
"Now even a first time offender if they get convicted they have to put in an ignition air lock on their car," Sgt. Miller said. "That's a huge inconvenience."
An ignition air lock requires drivers to pass a breathalyzer test before they can start their cars.
Virginia Beach Police will be out patrolling through out the evening Saturday night. They also have DUI checkpoints planned for Sunday night.
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