Troopers varying checkpoints to catch drunk drivers
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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- They're not just your typical check points any more. To crack down on drunk driving, state troopers are targeting different areas throughout New Hanover and Brunswick Counties. As the temperature rises, so do the number of Highway Patrol check points in Southeastern North Carolina.

"We try to do something during the summer months, when there's a lot of activity out here, traffic is heavy and we have an increase in alcohol-related collisions," 1st Sgt. A.E. Morris said.

Some drivers feel that by avoiding main roads like Market Street in New Hanover County, they can avoid checkpoints, but Highway Patrol says that's not the case because they do their checkpoints on many different roads at many different times.

"I think they're better on the side roads anyway, because then they don't block up traffic on the main roads and we can get to where we need to go in a quicker fashion," Morris said.

Last week Highway Patrol gave out more than 100 DWI citations at checkpoints in Brunswick and New Hanover Counties. Some of the stops took place on major roads like US 17. Others on side streets like Airlie Road.

"Often when we have check points we'll have a secondary location set up off the major location we're at," Morris said.

Thanks to an increase in alcohol-related enforcement, New Hanover and Brunswick Counties have seen alcohol related accidents decrease by 25-percent over the past two years. Not only are Highway Patrol checkpoints changing locations, they're also changing times. Morris says they're setting up check points throughout the day and night to get drunk drivers off the road.

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They need to come down here and show these sorry cops here how to do a real check point all thay did is made my damm van run out of gas . and thay made smart ass remarks about someboby being scared of the dmv .in wilminghton nc what a damm joke .more like take them to court for my time and gas i lost on the road for about 3hours .last night ,dumb ass dmv.everone dont everone dont get drunk and drive around drinking beer . or wine. i have better thing to do with my life .thing go out and get drunk . i dont drink at all .

Its amazing how all of you are so willing to jump up to the plate and throw your constitutional rights away. If you see someone driving drunk and erratically throw em in jail but setting up a road block and wasting everyones time is just rediculous. Im a bartender and I work at night and Ive been late to work three times because of roadblocks and cops harrassing me for no reason other than im younger than them. No one should have the right to stop me if im doing nothing wrong and driving safely.

why bother w/ the checkpoints? It's not like our legal system will do anything about it if they're caught... it gets them off the road for that night, but what about the next day once they make bail..or the next, they'll be right back at it again... our legal system needs to now step up and do something about punishing these individuals! In my opinon and it's only that MY opinion... if you get caught driving under the influence then you should be charged w/ attempted murder b/c thats what you're doing... and if someone actually causes an innocent persons death because they were driving under the influence of a substance then they should be charged with 1st degree murder, b/c in my opinion it was pre-meditated, they knew when they were drinking or using drugs, that they had to get home and had full intentions of getting behind the wheel not caring who it affected... if the state of NC would get tougher laws, then maybe what these troopers are doing would make a difference... until that happens, I think its a waste of time...

What's the difference of a drunk driver, or a stupid driver, killing someone. Do you know that the vast majority of car crash deaths are caused by sober people?

Ok, you contact your legislature and try to get that "driving while stupid" law into effect. Meanwhile, we will focus on people who put a depressant (alcohol), in their body, that greatly diminishes their ability to perform a divided attention task (driving) and then decide to operate a motor vehicle. If being stupid was illegal, we would all be in jail, you first!

You are exactly right...but getting them off the road for the night will at least stop that person from taking another's life even if it is for just one night

thats my hubby anthony cimaglia...love you babe good job

why do they not work in conjunction with the Sheriff's Department and local police such as Wrightsville Beach or the City of Wilmington?

Throw in some additional bodies and you could increase the number of checkpoints and perhaps have an even better response in getting DWI offenders off the road.

If you achieve that result, you reduce the number of alcohol related accidents & fatalities.

In Pender County, you always see the Troopers working in conjunction with Holly Ridge, Surf City & Topsail Beach officers as well as Pender County deputies. Seems to work here.

With WPD, NHCOSO etc. They ask for volunteers from the various departments, the larger the checkpoint, the more the more cooperation. Some checkpoints block off larger roads (College, Market etc.) In order to do one of these, they have to obtain permission from the Clerk Of Court because it must be registered with the County. Drivers license checkpoints, on the other hand, do not require any paperwork of any kind other then a written plan at the agency.

There's no money in NHC or Wilmington to put officers or deputies on checkpoints unless you pull them off routine patrol. Unless it's a highly visible, PR holiday event, it's likely going to be the SHP only.

This idea to start covering side roads is fantastic and long overdue. Roads like Mount Misery Road, Myrtle Grove/Masonboro Loop, and Sidbury Road are downright frightening at night because of the number of drunks using them to bypass the busy roads where they are more likely to hit a checkpoint. I was called up to Elizabethtown one night a few months ago and cut over to NC 87 on Mount Misery Road. Between Leland and Acme I had to leave the road twice because of idiots driving left-of-center. (It keeps them from having to drive on US 74/76.)

Mount Misery Road would be the FIRST place I'd throw my line in the water!

They do work together in conjunction with the WB police and WPD. Each time there are checkpoints they take turns sponsoring the checkpoints but officers from different agencies still work together.

The NCSHP will have your answers to that question, not these forum readers. With the Troopers being a state agency rather than city or county, they make the call as to who they would need assistance from.

great job keep it up

So glad to hear about the 100 DWI arrests.

Twice I have been sideswiped by a drunk driver.

It's a wonder I am not in a wheelchair . . . or dead.

These arrests will help send a message to the drinkers and to the bars and bartenders.