‘Booze It, Lose It’ arrests continue

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 31, 2005

Area motorists need reminding that it never pays to drink and drive or operate a motor vehicle in excess of the posted speed limit.

For proof, look no further than the 249 citations issued in the four, Roanoke-Chowan area counties during the fifth week of the statewide “Booze It & Lose It” campaign.

Of those citations, six were for Driving While Impaired (DWI). Three drivers were arrested in Northampton County; two in Hertford and one in Bertie.

The remainder of the citations were for speeding. Law enforcement officers patrolling Bertie County issued 97 speeding tickets; 28 were written in Gates County; 48 in Hertford and 50 in Northampton.

Additionally, area lawmen are on high alert for drivers and passengers not wearing safety belts. A total of 49 citations were written for that infraction in the four local counties. Northampton County topped the list with 35 tickets (34 for safety belt violations and one for failing to properly restrain a child passenger).

Lawmen patrolling Hertford County roads issued 10 tickets (eight for adults not wearing a seat belt and two to drivers who failed to make sure a child passenger was properly buckled-up). Two tickets for such infractions were written in both Bertie and Gates counties.

A total of 19 drivers in the R-C area were charged with Driving While License Revoked (five in Bertie; three in Gates; five in Hertford and six in Northampton).

Five drug arrests were also made in Northampton County as part of the campaign.

Statewide, 813 drivers were arrested for driving while impaired in the fifth week, bringing the total to 4,393 DWI arrests since the campaign began on Nov. 17. Officers also arrested 111 fugitives from justice and recovered 47 stolen vehicles.

“Thanks to the hard work of our law enforcement officers across the state almost 4,400 impaired drivers were removed from our roadways,” said Darrell Jernigan, director of the Governor’s Highway Safety Program. “Their continuing efforts are helping to make our highways safer this holiday.”

Nearly 2,000 checkpoints and stepped-up patrols were conducted statewide during the fifth week of the campaign. DWI arrests made against drivers under age 21 totaled 131. Counties with the highest number of DWI citations include Wake with 99 and Onslow with 57.

In addition to cracking down on impaired drivers, officers last week issued 2,073 safety belt and 313 child passenger safety violations. Among the 27,586 total traffic and criminal citations reported were 9,300 speeding violations and 480 drug charges.

The campaign continues through early January.

Local law enforcement officials wish everyone a safe, a happy New Year. They remind area drivers that if they consume alcoholic beverages over the holiday, please act responsibly and not operate a motor vehicle. Plan ahead to either spend the night or have a sober driver take you home.