October is one of the deadliest months on the nation’s highways, and most law enforcement agencies attribute the increase in accidents to Halloween party-goers who get drunk and then get behind the wheel. The North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program ran a Halloween “Booze It & Lose It” campaign this past weekend that pulled 774 impaired drivers off the state’s roads.
The program involves more than 2,300 sobriety checkpoints and dedicated patrols throughout the state. This particular campaign resulted in more than 19,000 citations issued for traffic and criminal violations.
Police issued more DWI citations in Mecklenburg and Wake counties (52 each) than anywhere else in the state. Wake boasted 140 checkpoints and patrols, the most in the state; Mecklenburg had 98. Pitt County came in third, with 42 impaired drivers nabbed by just 32 checkpoints and patrols.
Durham’s two checkpoints and two patrols chalked up one DWI arrest, two criminal violations, 171 traffic violations and 22 seat belt and child seat violations. Nine of the traffic violators were cited for driving while license revoked (DWLR).
Along with the 774 DWIs, the checkpoints and patrols around the state issued citations for 1,465 seat belt/child seat violations, 405 drug charges and 5,565 speeding violations.
The Booze It & Lose It Halloween campaign last year netted fewer traffic and criminal violations (17,500), but more drivers (816) were arrested for DWI.
In 2009, alcohol-related crash fatalities accounted for nearly 30 percent of all traffic fatalities in North Carolina. Of the 110,015 traffic injuries last year, 8.3 percent were related to alcohol.
Our August 25 post covered the lead-up to this year’s Labor Day Booze It & Lose It campaign.
Resource: Durham (NC) Herald-Sun “‘Booze It & Lose It’ Nets State and Area Violators” 11/4/10