Police arrested four people for DUI and issued 16 citations during a weekend DUI checkpoint on Cemetery Road in Hilliard.

Police arrested four people for DUI and issued 16 citations during a weekend DUI checkpoint on Cemetery Road in Hilliard.

The Hilliard Division of Police, in cooperation with the Franklin County DUI Task Force, administered a DUI checkpoint from 9 p.m. Friday, May 25, to 3 a.m. Saturday, May 26.

Four other agencies participated in the checkpoint with Hilliard police: the Franklin County Sheriff's Office, Reynoldsburg police, Grove City police and Perry Township police.

The checkpoint was one of several that has been or will be conducted this year in Franklin County as part of the Franklin County DUI Task Force.

Grants from the Ohio Department of Public Safety are used for overtime pay for participating law enforcement agencies to dedicate the personnel necessary to conduct the checkpoints.

State law requires that the location and time of the checkpoints be announced in advance. The checkpoints are as much about public awareness about impaired driving as en enforcement tool, but several DUI arrests are typically made at checkpoints.

During the six-hour checkpoint in Hilliard, officers checked motorists driving west on Cemetery Road, just east on Lacon Road.

Officers stop cars at pre-determined intervals based on the current volume of traffic entering the zone.

If there is probable cause to further question a driver, he or she is taken to a staging area for questions and the possible administration of field sobriety tests.

Hilliard Police Sgt. Ron Clark said the checkpoint aims to make the public aware of police enforcement of driving while impaired.

"This is a determent blitz on a holiday weekend to set the tone for the summer...that we are looking for impaired drivers," Clark said.

Each motorist police contact receives a flier explaining the purpose of the program and the regulations governing how the checkpoint is administered.

Shortly before midnight, Hilliard police diverted a driver after police observed what appeared to be marijuana residue inside the vehicle and an empty plastic bag.

The physical evidence was enough for probable cause to search the car, officer Anthony LaRosa said.

A canine officer from the Franklin County Sheriff's Office, Blek, and his handler, Deputy Robert McKee, searched the vehicle cut found no illegal substances.

"We're giving him a warning and letting him go," LaRosa said.

Several motorists passed field sobriety tests, but four were arrested for DUI.

But the most common violation is for expired or suspended driver's licenses and expired or fictitious vehicle registration.

"It will spin your head how many people are driving around without a (valid) license," one deputy said.

During the six-hour checkpoint, 1,037 cars entered the zone. Of those, police contacted 390 motorists.

Of those 390, 25 were diverted for further questioning or tests.

Among the citations were five for license violations, two for misdemeanor drug-related violations and one for underage possession of alcohol.

Six other citations were issued for equipment violations or an expired registration.

Ten warnings were issued and three vehicles were impounded.