Officers target drunk driversPublished 8:57pm Friday, December 7, 2012
Santa Claus isn’t alone when it comes to making a list and checking it twice, finding out who’s naughty or nice.
The N.C. State Highway Patrol and local law-enforcement agencies kicked of a Booze It & Lose It campaign Friday. It runs through Jan. 2, 2013. The campaign is an effort to get impaired drivers off highways, roads and streets.
Checkpoints and stepped-up patrols will be conducted during the campaign period.
“All these campaigns that we do are very, very effective. … Especially with the media, when you guys cover this stuff, it brings it into more focus,” said Sgt. Kevin Respess with the Highway Patrol’s Washington office. “We focus on this type of stuff 24/7. During the holidays with the media coverage and stuff like that, it just brings it more to the forefront.”
Respess said more troopers are on the roads during such holiday campaigns than other times.
“Make the responsible decision to designate a driver if you plan to drink this holiday season,” said N.C. Transportation Secretary Gene Conti in a press release. “The choice you make could save a life.”
In 2011, there were more than 950 alcohol-related crashes in North Carolina during the holiday campaign, which ran from Dec. 3 through Jan. 2, resulting in 44 fatalities and 702 injuries.
Officers charged more than 3,600 North Carolina motorists with driving while impaired during the 2011 holiday “Booze It & Lose It” campaign. More than 10,000 stepped-up patrols and checkpoints were conducted.
For more information regarding Booze It & Lose It, visit the program’s website: www.ncdot.gov/programs/ghsp.