MPs, Local Police Conduct Sobriety Checkpoints

The Fort Lee Military Police has teamed up with local law enforcement authorities to curb impaired driving.

The effort, called the Tri-City Sobriety Checkpoint Partnership, saw its first-ever sobriety checkpoint operation Saturday night and Sunday morning.

“The purpose behind the checkpoints was to build cohesion between all the law enforcement agencies and to get drunk drivers off the road,” said Fort Lee military policeman Sgt. Nathan Kovacs, traffic noncommissioned officer in charge.

Personnel from the Hopewell, Petersburg, Colonial Heights and Prince George police departments along with the Virginia State Police manned checkpoints at various locations in the area to deter drunk driving.

Kovacs said 12 Fort Lee personnel participated in the effort, operating a checkpoint with civilian police located on eastbound Route 36 near the Petersburg National Battlefield entrance.

Checkpoints, manned by civilian police, were also located on Route 36, westbound near the Petersburg city boundary and Temple Avenue near a motorcycle dealership.

“It went over very well,” he said. “All the law enforcement (agencies) did a great job.”

At the battlefield entrance, the Fort Lee Military Police stopped around 250 to 500 cars at the checkpoint, said Kovacs.

Military and civilian motorists were cited for a number of infractions to include child restraint and seatbelt violations, driving with a suspended license and possession of marijuana.

One person was cited for driving under the influence and 10 people were arrested, said Kovacs.

“In the end it was a great deterrence for drunk drivers,” said Kovacs.

Twenty-two people were killed on Virginia roads over the July 4 weekend last year.

Kovacs said the partnership will continue to work together and conduct more sobriety checkpoints in the future.