DUI Checkpoint Throws 'Curveball' to Drivers

Dozens of police officers conducted one of the largest sobriety checkpoints in the South Hills on Wednesday night when they patrolled Route 50 in Bridgeville.

Dozens of police officers conducted one of the largest sobriety checkpoints in the South Hills on Wednesday night when they patrolled Route 50 in Bridgeville.

The officers stopped 35 motorists on Washington Pike near from 7:30 p.m. to shortly after 11 p.m.

said the DUI checkpoint netted one arrest for driving under the influence of drugs, while officers issues 13 citations, wrote 15 warnings for expired inspection or registration tags and towed five vehicles. Another person was arrested for driving with altered tags.

King said the earlier time was to throw a “curveball” to motorists and make the public aware that officers are watching at all hours of the day.

“The way we were thinking about this one is throwing a curveball to the public and keeping the public on their toes,” King said. “This isn’t about stats and numbers. It’s about safety. I think we caught a lot of people off guard.”

More than 40 officers from 18 police departments spent time at the checkpoint. Some of the police departments included Bridgeville, Scott, Collier, Heidelberg, South Fayette, Mt. Lebanon, Baldwin, Green Tree, Robinson and Pittsburgh.

“This was probably the biggest checkpoints this area has ever seen,” King said. “We had darn near everyone out, it seemed.”

King said one officer suffered a seizure and apparently hit his head on the pavement after falling to the ground, although he is expected to be fine.

A crash on Interstate 79 near the Bridgeville exit caused heavy congestion on Route 50 as cars were detoured onto the former Kirwan Heights exit. King said traffic became so gridlocked that they eventually had to let cars through to alleviate the back-up.

The officers also had to deal with lightning and heavy rain that forced the closure of the checkpoint at times.

PennDOT officials said this was part of a federal initiative called “Ride Sober or Get Pulled Over."

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trusgold August 15, 2012 at 08:46 PM
I see Chief Kings point. Sometimes it only takes once and if it aves a life good investment
trusgold August 15, 2012 at 08:48 PM
you are bit off the mark. Driving is considered a priviledge not a right. That's why it's legal. SCOUS
trusgold August 15, 2012 at 08:50 PM
Timber August 16, 2012 at 06:10 AM
Checkpoints are not permitted for general crime control. Not Consstitutional. Checkpoint by design are for time and place of high probability of those potentially committing the offense of DUI. Middle of the week checkpoint could very well fall outside the legally permissible time frame.
Tracman August 16, 2012 at 04:03 PM
They should have invited Cecil, North or South Strabane, Canonsburg or Peters to the party. They all have ALPR (Automatic License Plate Reecognition). Just scan your license plate and they can tell if your registration is expired. Even thought they got them for the narcotic traffiskers and wanted felons. Just another tax collection tool. Beware you are being watched.


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