make WWAY your homepage  Become a fan on facebook  Follow us on twitter  Receive RSS Newsfeeds  MEMBERS: Register | Login

Law enforcement launches holiday drunk driving enforcement

READ MORE: Law enforcement launches holiday drunk driving enforcement

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The 4th of July is just days away, and that means time for fireworks and fun. It also means one of law enforcement's busiest weekends when the fun gets out of control.

"If you have a drink, get a designated driver, because we're gonna catch you," said David Weinstein, director of the Governor's Highway Safety Program. "We mean business."

Weinstein came to New Hanover County today to help kick off the GHSP's Booze It and Lose It: Operation Firecracker. Law enforcement across the state have teamed up to crack down on drivers with help from the state's BAT Mobile.

If a driver is stopped and believed to be impaired, officers then bring the driver into the BAT Mobile. They then have to blow into a breathalyzer. If they blow over the legal limit, they then see a magistrate that's waiting for them on the bus. But law enforcement can only do so much.

"We do not want the people who break the law and drink and drive to get out on a technicalities," Weinstein said.

Officers say checkpoint training is intense. The training is the ticket to make sure all drunk drivers face the repercussions. Once charged, the charges fall into the hands of the judicial system, which some say does not always prove to be effective.

"You spend that kind of time with them, have formed an opinion about them and there's no doubt in your mind that they are impaired, and then they fall through the cracks," said Highway Patrol Sgt. Chad Parks. "That's discouraging."

According to the NC Department of Health and Human Services, North Carolina has one of the highest DWI arrest rates in the nation. But for every one DWI arrest, 2,000 do not get caught. So officers remind drivers to be alert and remember, if you're gonna booze it, you're gonna lose it.

About 1.3 million people are charged with DWI in the United States annually. Five percent of those arrests are made in North Carolina. Officers charged more than 1,000 North Carolina motorists with DWI during last years 4th and July Booze It and Lose It campaign.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


I hope they catch them all

I hope they catch EVERYONE that drinks and drives over the July Fourth Holiday. Once they catch them I think all of them should be bused to Arizona and put in Sheriff Joe Arpaio's jail for a year of hard labor on his chain gang. Maybe after a year of working in temperatures that reach highs of 110 degrees on the chain gang from 7 am to 2 pm 6 days a week and then sleeping in non-air conditioned tents while wearing pink clothing will break this addiction so many people have. This should be for the first offense, the second offense should be 5 years and the third offense should be life spent with Joe with NO parole. If our law would support this, 99% of drinkers would drink at their own HOME and stay there until they were sober.


they can set up at Wrightsville Beach


You wouldn't be referring to that ignorant, irresponsible little girl who flipped her car not long ago? Surely, her friends will argue she's got rights, and that's she's not a bad person. She didn't mean to be worthless to society. Give her another chance! (to kill someone)

Or maybe you mean that maybe all the other idiots out there like her will maybe be caught?

Either way, I agree with you totally

They say if you booze it,

They say if you booze it, you'll lose it. However in the preceding sentence, it mentions that for every DWI, 2,000 don't get caught. Unfortunately, it soulds like there is not much chance of getting caught, afterall.