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Holiday Drunk Driving Numbers

READ MORE: Holiday Drunk Driving Numbers
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.

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Easy To Catch

New Hanover county is the smallest county of the 100 in the state...with the highest number of drunk driving arrests in the state. With so few roads leading from so many bars and restaurants, it's like shooting fish in a barrel.

Drunk Driving

If you are driving drunk and have an accident that results in injury, you should be charged with attempted murder. At the very least, assault with a deadly weapon. If you are driving drunk and have an accident that results in death, you should be charged with murder. My neighbor is raising her two grandchildren because a drunk driver hit them and killed their parents and severely injured them. It was his third drunk driving conviction and he got seven years. That is not enough for killing two people and altering the lives of their children forever. Suspending someone's license just does not work. You may have an occassional drinker who happens to get stopped one night and blow more than .08 who actually pays attention when their license gets suspended, but for the most part, drunk drivers are people who drive drunk on a regular basis. Many of them can be falling down and they still believe there is nothing wrong with their driving. My father drank himself to death. We lived in a small town in WV and he lost his license, and went and got another with his middle name. This was before illegal immigration was an issue so the requirements were lax. He had those revoked for drunk driving. He simply continued to drive drunk. He eventually had his license permanently revoked in both names, yet when he died he owned a brand new pickup registered to my stepmother, and was still driving it under the influence. Some people simply will never stop drinking and driving until you lock them up and throw away the key.


Ever heard of something called a cab?

drinking and driving

Everyone seems so concerned about others drinking and driving, while just recently the drunk bus was voted down by locals. Maybe Wilmington residents just like drama. An easy solution to prevent college students from drinking and driving is not allowed; but people sure do complain about drunk drivers.

drunk driving

So let me get this right. The goverment say's it's legal to open a public place for people to go to and drink alcoholic deverages. It's legal to sell people alcohol that impairs thier judgment and still expect them to use good judgement? They just need to stop selling alcohol in public bar's that you have to drive to, too get there. When you leave your judgment is oviously imparied if it wasn't they would realize that NO they shouldn't be driving!Sounds like a catch 22 to me! It's all just a monet racket for the goverment!

The "drunk bus"...

....would have been nothing more than a means of transporting drunks on the taxpayer's dime. Would it cut down on DUIs? Only among the college crowd, and in that case we could simply allow liquor sales in the dorms, and that would do the same thing, right? (Obviously if they can't meet society's stndards for behavior, our standards are too high?) It would have done nothing to reduce the DUIs among adults or those college students choosing to get hammered at the beach or someplace other than downtown. So it's not a matter of "liking drama." It's a matter of expecting people to manage their own lives, obey the law, and be responsible for their actions. If they want to act like irresponsible jerks, it's not up to the taxpayer to make it easier for them. Very few of those getting DUIs have a problem with alcoholism. The majority are simply not deterred by our laws, which are a total joke. There's no pain in getting a DUI, and the state needs to get down to the business of making it very painful.

So what you are in a way

So what you are in a way saying is that you would rather the tax payers dollars go to putting someone who has been convicted of a DUI, killed someone while drinking and driving etc. up in a cell with TV, food, a bed, education and all the amenities that New Hanover County offers criminals in jail. Than the tax dollars go to something that could help prevent the pain a drunk driver can cause multiple families. I wonder which one would save some money. And as for liquor sales in dorms is about the brightest idea I’ve heard since Bush was elected president again. I mean seriously you have KIDS 18 to 20 years of age in those dorms. There is one point in your comment I agree with and that is the DUI laws this state has. They are way to slack.

There's a simple compromise

Charge the little drunken weasels enough so that the bus is revenue neutral, or even better, makes a profit. I'll then fully support the drunk bus. In the absence of that, it's a doomed, weak society that says, "Oh, we know you're going to break the law, and since we dare not enforce discipline upon you, we'll help you out by providing a bus for you to puke on." Are you also in favor of giving druggies free money to avoid armed robberies...or free drugs? If YOU can live your life within the confines of the law, and I can live my life within the confines of the law, there is nothing wrong with demanding that THEY live their lives within the confines of the law.

There is a huge difference

There is a huge difference between giving someone addicted to drugs money and giving someone who wants to go out have a goodtime an alternate way home, that is safe for him/her and the other innocent people on the road. All you’re focusing on is the “free ride” think about how many lives it could save. If there is one thing id like my tax money to go to it is some kind of preventive measure. I for sure don’t want my tax dollars going to someone to have a free ride on life. And as for the puke part, people if you can’t handle you alcohol don’t drink it.

...except that it teaches them the wrong lesson

They need to learn that when they get stupid, and do stupid things, there isn't always a easy solution. Someone isn't always going to be waiting to carry their load for them. They have to grow up and take responsibility for every single action in their life. When I first moved to Wilmington I lived right across the street from NHRMC. As I was still relatively young and exceptionally stupid, one night I had one too many down at the beach. So what did I do? I WALKED HOME, ELEVEN MILES. Every single person has the same option available to them: He or she can walk home. They're under no obligation to get into a car and drive. The drunk bus is just another way of coddling them and spoiling them. Drive them home, wipe their nose, change their nappy and tuck them in. There are many things we could do to save lives, but that doesn't mean that everything is always a good idea. The cost of DUIs is far too high, but continuing to raise a nation of irresponsible pansies who can't manage or take responsibility for their lives is far worse. Want to cut down on drunk driving? Tighten up the laws and start making a few examples.

I agree...

but Wilmington is still a "who you know" type of town. A few years ago, two boys were driving down Live Oak Parkway when the driver rolled his SUV throwing his best friend from the vehicle, killing him. These boys had been drinking at Cape Fear Country Club earlier and suspected of drinking downtown later on. What the driver got was a slap on the wrist and a suspended license. Conversely, on New Year's Eve that year, a drunk driver ran the blinking red light at the intersection of Shipyard and Independence hitting an off-duty Sheriff's deputy, who died a few days later. This driver got 3 years. Go figure!

I only log on occasionally,

I only log on occasionally, but i've realized that you have a way of pissing people on this page with your ridiculous ideas. I'm just laughing at you though because your ideas are so extremely conservative that they sound like a joke. Don't bother replying, btw, I rarely look at the comments on this page.

Another fan!

Yep! The painful truth is hard to swallow, isn't it?

Love it

Hey Commonsensenotcommontoday, looks like you must have made another bedwetting liberal mess his sheets. I think they want to do a study, have a commission or maybe just a hug group on why johnny keeps driving drunk. They demand actions to fix problems but don't want to actually carry them through.

Guesty, this guy was just too calm

I really love it when they totally lose it and start calling me names, like Lil' Becki did last week. My all-time favorite was the young lady who went totally bonkers because I pointed out that she could pay for her OWN healthcare if she wasn't paying for that brand new car, and if she got a roommate to cut her rent in half on that big, fancy apartment. What's sad is that they simply can't see that what I preach is neither conservative nor liberal. It's simply the mark of taking responsibility for your life and being an adult.


Yep, the age of taking personal responsibility for your actions or inactions is long gone. Just like the people on New Orleans that didn't evacuate three years ago want to blame the government for the flood. And they expect the government to pay and pay and pay. The democrats offer "free" health care, "free" education, "free" housing to ensure a base of voters that will depend on the government for their every need and place the burden to pay for all these "free" plans by hiking the taxes the working people pay.

State issue- wrong solution

This is a state issue, and unfortunately the feds have pried their way into it causing problems within our state. Feds need to quit taking away highway funds if states do no conduct check point, and MADD needs to back down. Check points do not net nearly as many drunk drivers as stepping up patrols around holidays and dispersing enforcement throughout municipalities. Quit worrying about who is drinking, buying alcohol, and where they are doing it. Focus on drunk driving and spread the police presence through the city...concentrated enforcement in predictable locations (WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH BRIDGE), especially in this day when everyone has a cell phone, is no effective way to prevent people from drinking and driving.

quit complaining

....sounds like someone here got stopped at the bridge. There is nobody more impatient or inconvenienced about getting stopped, than somebody thats been drinking. Plus, alcohol seems to make everybody a self-proclaimed lawyer.

Drunk Driving Solution

Seize their vehicle when a person blows .08 or refuses to blow. You can bet that it will get somebody’s attention quick. They've passed laws banning smoking in public and sex offenders in the parks. However, when someone is out driving drunk it is like a loaded gun ready to go off. I hope that the Legislators will pass a law before someone else is hurt or killed. In addition, there should be a law that if they keep on driving after they have already been convicted of DWI then they can be prosecuted federally.

federal prisons can be much

federal prisons can be much nice than state facilities...why send them there?

It's not a federal issue

Read the Tenth Amendment. Why try to pawn the job off on the feds, when the problem is weak, ineffective state laws that could easily be strengthened? First offense DUI should bring a $5000 fine, twelve consecutive weekends in jail, and a mandatory one-year suspension of license. The vehicle should be impounded until the fine is paid. Second offense DUI should result in a $10k fine, ninety days in jail, and a three year suspension of license. Again, the vehicle should be impounded until the fine is paid. Third DUI? Five years at the crossbar hotel with a lifetime revocation of driving privileges. Caught driving after that? Life without parole. No feds necessary, just a strong, sovereign state government. (But none of that will ever happen because of the good ol' boy attorney's network. They'll never lock up their cash cows!)

Federal issue

As usual, you are correct in that a DUI is not a Federal Offense nor should it be. I like your way of thinking. If you are a lawyer, perhaps you should run for Jugde. Better yet run to the State House and get this law changed. Your tough penalties just might work.

Finally someone else gets it...

Your comment is exactly the reason why nothing is done on the state level...I love your post! (But none of that will ever happen because of the good ol' boy attorney's network. They'll never lock up their cash cows!) »

What about reading the 8th

What about reading the 8th amendment about Cruel and Unusual Punishment The punishment must be portportional to the crime. Why even give fines and excessive punishments for DWI's when other serious crimes, like rape and murder, are given lesser punishments. I believe the legislature needs to focus on the serious crimes first and then work down the ladder. There are so many legal issues to be resolved, but I do understand what you are saying though. The Criminal Court System needs serious review.

Of course they'd need to tighten up on other crimes...

...but don't forget that as far as "seriousness" of the crime, we lose more people to DUI every year than to armed robbery. I'm all in favor of a three-strikes law that puts felons away for life. Better still, I'd be in favor of overturning Furman v Georgia and the companion cases, and allowing states to once again execute those convicted of a second or third violent felony, or felony with the potential for violence. Of course, the good ol' boy lawyer network of trial attorneys, judges, legislators, and governors will never let that happen either. They have to look out for their pals.

When you think of drunk

When you think of drunk driving for what it is: attempted murder, these punishments do fit the crime. I'm sick of people treating traffic offenses as minor. I was an 8 year old girl coming back from a roller skating party with a neighbor only to find my driveway filled with cops cars. I will never forget looking around all those sad faces when I asked "where's Mom"? A drunk driver almost killed her. Don't think that's serious??????

I believe that every crime

I believe that every crime is serious, that gravely affects the life of others. Unfortunately, there is no cure all remedy for this forever growing problem and the myriad of others. My prayers go out to you and your family and to the families of many others afflicted by drunk drivers.

It is a Federal Issue

Federal funding of our highways and byways makes it a Federal Case and those persons should be prosecuted federally.

Sure....and an FHA loan...

...means the feds have jurisdiction in your house if you murder the old lady, right? Read the Constitution with particular attention to the Tenth Amendment, then tell me exactly where you found the federal government given the power to arrest you for DUI on Oriole Drive. Giving back the money they collected FROM YOU does not negate the fact that "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

We cannot afford to put

We cannot afford to put drunk drivers in jail or impound their cars. If we did this, they would not be able to go to work Monday morning and pay taxes.