A “Booze It & Lose It” enforcement effort over the holidays could put some motorists’ licenses at risk. North Carolina’s Department of Transportation says its intention in launching the campaign is to reduce the number of driving while intoxicated incidents and take intoxicated motorists off the road.
The effort will mean many more state and local police conducting additional patrols and setting up DWI checkpoints where motorists will be stopped. A spokesman for the campaign urged those planning to drink at holiday parties to make arrangements for a designated driver, to call a cab or to use public transportation.
Over the holiday season last year, more than 3,600 drivers in the state were accused of drunk driving during the Booze It and Lose It campaign that saw police conducting around 10,000 checkpoints and patrols. North Carolina experienced 44 deaths and 702 injuries last year in over 950 car accidents that officials said involved alcohol.
Last year’s campaign was the first to be conducted under Laura’s Law. The law, which took effect Dec. 1, 2011, increased the penalties for repeat DWI offenders.
Those enhanced penalties include a mandatory sentence of between one and three years of incarceration without any hope of parole for a third-time DWI conviction, along with the possible additional penalty of a fine as high as $10,000. The previous maximum penalty had been from 30 days to two years of confinement and a fine of up to $4,000. Laura’s law was named after a 17-year-old girl who was killed when the vehicle she was riding in was hit by a drunk driver who was a repeat offender.
Source: Jefferson Post, “Booze It & Lose It over the holidays,” Dec. 10, 2012
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