With the Fourth of July, as with every holiday, comes the North Carolina State Highway Patrol’s Operation Firecracker: Booze It or Lose It campaign. From Friday, June 28, through Sunday, July 7, motorists throughout the state will encounter sobriety checkpoints on major roads and saturated law enforcement patrols in neighborhoods and on less heavily traveled routes.
The objective, of course, is to reduce the number of motor vehicle accidents by getting people who are driving while intoxicated off the roads. Most holidays see an uptick in the number of crashes, in part because more people are traveling and traveling longer distances. But over the Fourth of July last year, alcohol played a part in 45 percent of the state’s fatal accidents. There are more accidents over holidays because more people celebrate then get behind the wheel.
While the campaign will go on for 10 days, the official travel period, according to AAA Carolinas, is just five days long, from July 3 to July 7. During that period almost 1 million state residents will take to the roads. AAA estimates that about 2 percent fewer people will be traveling this year than last, thanks in part to higher gas prices.
The state Department of Transportation will do its part to keep drivers safe over the Fourth, as well. NCDOT announced that it will suspend construction projects along U.S. and state highways from Wednesday afternoon to Friday morning.
Whether you are driving to the store or to the shore, be careful this week. Remember to designate a driver if you plan to go out or to call a cab if you have been drinking. If you are pulled over and arrested for DWI, contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Source: The Pilot, “Fewer state residents to hit road dfor July 4 holiday,” June 28, 2013