Campaign against impaired driving includes more law enforcement patrols
Published 4:46 pm Tuesday, August 29, 2023
State and local law enforcement officers will be out in force over the next two weeks as part of the “Labor Day Booze It & Lose It” campaign, officials announced at a campaign launch Monday in Davidson County.
Increased patrols and checkpoints will be conducted statewide starting Aug. 28 through Sept. 10 to keep impaired drivers off North Carolina roads.
North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein helped lead Monday’s kickoff event at the Davidson County Rest Area off Interstate 85 South.
“Keeping people safe has to be job one for all of us,” Stein said. “If you drink and drive, you will get caught. Protect yourself and others – never operate a motor vehicle if you’ve been drinking.”
The “Booze It & Lose It” campaign aims to eliminate impaired driving using outreach and stepped-up law enforcement efforts. Nearly every law enforcement agency in North Carolina participates in the 29-year-old campaign.
Stein was joined Monday by officials with the N.C Governor’s Highway Safety Program, Davidson County Sheriff’s Office, N.C. State Highway Patrol, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement, other law enforcement officers and Davidson County residents Trevor Jones, who used his experiences to advocate against drunk driving.
“As the Labor Day holiday approaches, we encourage everyone to be responsible and to not drink and drive,” said Davidson County Sheriff Richie Simmons. “Drunk driving crashes often result in serious injuries and fatalities. Please be responsible and don’t make the end of summer the end of someone else’s life.”
Alcohol is a leading contributor to fatal crashes in North Carolina, according to crash data compiled by the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles. Between 2017 and 2022, North Carolina has averaged more than one alcohol-related vehicle fatality each day. Last year, there were 462 alcohol-related fatalities on North Carolina roads and 16 of those deaths came during the Labor Day period.
These sobering statistics were not lost on the law enforcement and traffic safety officials participating in Monday’s event at a rest area that will see many travelers this Labor Day.
“This Labor Day, we want you to plan ahead by arranging a sober ride home from any festivities that might involve alcohol or other impairing substances,” said Mark Ezzell, director of the N.C. Governor’s Highway Safety Program, a part of the N.C. Department of Transportation. “Law Enforcement will be working extra patrols during this campaign to keep all motorists safe by catching those who don’t heed this message. There’s really no excuse.”