WILMINGTON -- As our temperatures rise it appears the number of drunken drivers do as well. Last year North Carolina arrested more than 22,000 offenders, most of which occurred during our warm and inviting summer days. So far this year about 400 people have been arrested for driving under the influence by the Highway Patrol in Brunswick and New Hanover Counties. Highway Patrol Sgt. J.O. Holmes said, "Last year we arrested just under 1,100 -- 1,096 -- and we're on the way to eclipse that this year and we haven't even hit the peak summer time yet." Sgt. Holmes says southeast North Carolina is more prone to drunken drivers. "You've got a lot of establishments in close proximity that serve alcohol, couple that with the beaches and the vacation area and a lot of people come on vacation here and leave there inhibitions behind," Sgt. Holmes said. Officers are planning a number of checkpoints this summer to combat the problem. "We've found with alcohol related incidents that it can be anytime, any day of the week," Sgt. Holmes said. The uncertainty of when and where a drunken driver could hit is one of many reasons for increased patrols. It's also one of the reasons a law was passed in December making it a felony if a drunken driver seriously injures someone in an accident.
- Video Central
- About WWAY