Sober drivers are welcome sight

Published 4:56 pm Tuesday, December 30, 2008

GARYSBURG — In their local effort to help curtail drinking and driving across the state, Northampton County law enforcement agencies reported no alcohol related charges here after holding a traffic checkpoint.

On Tuesday evening, officers from approximately six law enforcement agencies from all over the county convened at the Garysburg Police Department to organize a checkpoint on US 158/301.

The checkpoint was one of many held this week in the 100 counties across the state as a part of the “Booze It & Lose It” Campaign under the Governor’s Highway Safety Program (GHSP) and the Department of Crime Control and Public Safety.

“Obviously we’re doing this to save lives,” said Jackson Police Chief John Young, who serves as the Northampton County Coordinator for GHSP. “It’s the holiday season; there’s a lot of traffic, a lot of people out there on the road and parties going on.”

Young said other law enforcement agencies will be holding checkpoints all across the state this week in response to the holiday season.

Areas for checkpoints are often chosen in regards to citizen complaints, patrol observations or an increase in driving while intoxicated (DWI) patterns, said Young.

Before getting down to business, a short briefing session was held at the Garysburg Police Department, in which Police Chief Raymond Vaughan (whose jurisdiction was hosting the checkpoint) sorted out a plan of action for officers working the checkpoint.

Those in attendance included officers from the towns of Rich Square, Jackson, Seaboard and Garysburg as well as deputies from the Northampton County Sheriff’s Department. Troopers from the North Carolina State Highway Patrol were also scheduled to attend.

After positioning themselves on US 158/301, just before where the two roads fork, the officers prepared the area with signs, traffic cones and flares.

For approximately two hours, officers checked drivers for valid licenses and inspections as well as other violations.

In all, Young said the officers netted 15 charges, including three driving while license revoked, seven no operator’s license, one child restraint violation and four inspection violations.

There were no DWI charges, something Young was happy to report.

“I’m glad to see people are being more careful,” he said.