RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Richmond police are working to prevent deaths and crashes that stem from drunk or drugged drivers and saw some success in their efforts during a scheduled sobriety checkpoint last week.

Richmond Police partnered with Virginia State Police to conduct a DUI checkpoint at 2400 Richmond Highway between 5 and 10 p.m. on Thursday, March 16.

The main goal of DUI checkpoints is to lower deaths and injuries due to impaired driving. Just having police at the scene may deter drivers from getting into a car after drinking or doing drugs.

The checkpoint also came the day before St. Patrick’s Day, when impaired and unsafe driving can be more common, the police department said. According to Richmond Police, there were 138 alcohol-related crashes, 72 injuries, and five deaths across Virginia on St. Patrick’s Day in 2022.

Police across the state have been working to improve their response to drunk driving after a 2022 report from the Virginia State Crime Commission found a need to improve the enforcement of the commonwealth’s impaired driving laws. According to the report, over the last two decades, arrests for DUIs went down but deaths on Virginia roads went up.

At the time, state lawmakers pointed to concerns that drugged driving, or DUIDs, were becoming more common and also harder to test.

The March 16 checkpoint resulted in police checking 613 vehicles and issuing 89 citations. During the checkpoint hours, police also made one arrest for a DUID, recovered a stolen vehicle and took one wanted person into custody.

Police also discovered multiple other non-DUI infractions, including 68 citations for failure to wear seatbelts and unlicensed drivers.

While police only arrested one driver for impaired driving on March 16, Richmond Police Sergeant Jonathan Nathanson says that is still one too many impaired drivers on the road.

“Our collective goal is zero traffic deaths in the city and one driver under the influence is one too many when it comes to jeopardizing lives,” Nathanson said.

The checkpoint was funded by a grant from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.