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As our roads begin to feel the increased pressure of summer tourists, the opportunity for incidents increase. We only have to look back a couple of weeks to see tragedies that have happened on our roadways before the onslaught of beachgoers even began.
Brunswick County Sheriff John Ingram has said his deputies will be stepping up their emphasis on impaired, aggressive and speeding drivers during the busy summer months.
Sheriff Ingram and his deputies are right to focus their attention on those drivers who put us all at risk. And that risk increases as the traffic count increases.
Chief Deputy Charlie Miller says it has not been politically popular to enforce DWI laws, but they intend to enforce them no matter what.
We agree with that approach.
Nothing good can ever come of someone getting behind the wheel after they have downed a few too many or participated in drug use that makes them unable to have proper command of their faculties.
Alcohol and drug related fatality accidents have been all too common in the pages of this newspaper during the last several months.
Lives have been lost and numerous others affected by the poor decisions of a few.
Sheriff’s deputies issued 236 DWI charges during 2009. We have no way of knowing how many others made it through without being stopped or ticketed.
No doubt, this is too many. Each of these and the countless others not identified represented a danger to themselves, others riding in their vehicle and the vehicles they passed on their careless adventure.
This has to stop.
As the sheriff’s office steps up its presence on the roads this summer, we hope drivers take notice and choose to make the proper decisions in advance of being stopped.
The best result of these increased checkpoints would be to see a declining number of citations and arrests as a result of drivers changing their behavior.
We love summer, and we love living in a destination location. We want to make sure the summer months remain focused on relaxation and fun.
We don’t want to see pictures of surfers and beach activities crowded off the front page by more needless tragedies.
Remember, tourist traffic is a good thing. We want to keep it coming year after year.