The government says drunk driving related deaths throughout the country are down, but here in North Carolina it's a very different story. North Carolina saw 60 more drunk driving related deaths in 2007 than the year before, and local officials and bars are trying to make sure they don't see any more this weekend. Those celebrating the unofficial end of summer can expect to see plenty of police check points. New Hanover County Highway Patrol said drunk driving and speeding will be the focus of their enforcement over Labor Day weekend. Sergeant J. Holmes said, "We'll be placing a special emphasis this weekend on impaired driving and speeding. Those are the two leading causes of collisions and fatalities in this area." Local bars say they will do what they can to prevent more deaths this weekend. Elli Ellsworth, a local bartender said, "We tell our staff and our door guys to just keep an eye on whose coming in, who is leaving, the condition that they seem to be in. It's a real big issue when you have a town such as Wilmington." Residents say they don't see why the problem is so difficult to avoid. "I usually either get someone to drive for me or I don't drive," said Keith Leroy. The real tragedy is people aren't learning from their mistakes. Holmes said, "Apparently people aren't getting the message even though we continue to arrest a tremendous number of people." New Hanover County Highway Patrol led the state with more than 1,400 drunk driving related arrests last year. This year they are on pace for even more.
- Video Central
- About WWAY