Statewide campaign designed to save lives during 100 deadly days of summer

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – It’s a campaign led by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services designed to target drivers under the influence – their goal is to conduct events in 38 counties across the state from the Fourth of July to Labor Day.

WWAY got an inside look on the Breath Alcohol Unit –better known as the BAT Mobile.

“We have to be requested to come out, we don’t just throw something together,” he said.

Their goal is to conduct high-visibility engagement events which are planned for months, the recent check pointe was requested by the Wilmington Police Department.

“Our busiest times of the year are during our biggest holidays, so Fourth of July, Labor Day, Memorial Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas,” said Smith.

The Independence Day event involved several local law enforcement agencies who worked together to help prevent fatal accidents involving drugs or alcohol.

The unit is equipped with a breath analyzer, which they will be instructed to blow into and if they blow over legal limit, you will lose your license and could face jail time.

Wilmington Police Officer Micheal Branon with the traffic unit says those who want to have a night out that includes alcohol, should avoid getting behind the wheel.

“Make sure you have a designated driver or a plan to get home, either through a rideshare program, a taxi,” he said.

Police aren’t only looking for impaired drivers, and nothing surprises them.

“With these checking stations, you never know what you’re going to get,” said Branon.

Such as a gun and drugs found after a driver got stopped at a checkpoint on Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, west of Kornegay Avenue.

“Study have shown that impaired driving affects passengers in the car, passengers in the back seat not wearing their seatbelt, bystanders and, pedestrians and that’s what we’re trying to prevent,” said Branon.

More of these events are planned leading to Labor Day.

New Hanover, Pender and Brunswick County Sheriff’s Offices; Jacksonville Police Department, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol and The North Carolina State Port Police Department, assisted the Wilmington Police Department with the checkpoint.

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