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."