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Statewide, 690 DWI arrests made during three-day campaign

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By Rachel Johnson, Staff Writer

Six hundred and ninety impaired drivers were arrested during a statewide campaign against driving while impaired.

Statewide, 409 law enforcement agencies participated in the Governor’s Highway Safety Program’s St. Patrick’s Day “Booze It & Lose It” campaign. The campaign began March 16 and ended March 18.

Wake (54 arrests), Forsyth (31), Guilford (33), New Hanover (28) and Robeson (27) counties had the most DWI arrests.

In Brunswick County, officers arrested 23 drivers for DWI. Local law enforcement conducted 19 checkpoints and 28 saturation patrols for a total of 47 checkpoints and patrols.

Law enforcement in Brunswick County also issued 19 safety belt violations, six child passenger safety violations, 20 drug violations, seven fugitives arrested, four felony arrests and 12 other criminal violations. They also issued 97 speeding violations, 31 driving while revoked and 167 other traffic violations during the campaign.

“We hope to bring a clear message to motorists by increasing enforcement efforts: Don’t drink and drive,” GHSP director Becky Wallace said. “Always be responsible and choose a designated driver before you get behind the wheel.”

During the campaign, officers statewide conducted 2,391 sobriety checkpoints and dedicated patrols. There were a total of 558 checkpoints and 1,833 patrols.

Officers also issued 1,458 safety belt and 258 child passenger safety violations, 5,842 speeding violations and 555 drug charges. In addition, they apprehended 407 fugitives from justice and recovered nine stolen vehicles.

The Booze It & Lose It campaign coincided with formation of the Brunswick Interagency Taskforce Enforcement team, a task force designed to combat driving while impaired. The task force includes law enforcement agencies from all over the county who have united with the goal of removing impaired drivers from Brunswick County roadways.

“Impaired driving on the roadways of this county has got to stop,” Sheriff John Ingram said. “This is not about glory or recognition. It’s about coming together as a team to make the roads of this county safe for our citizens.”

The task force hopes to have one to two major checkpoints a week throughout the county.

In 2012 there were 27 fatalities in Brunswick County; eight were attributed to driving while impaired. Law-enforcement officers said impaired drivers are on the road at all hours of the day and night.

For more information regarding county-by-county citation totals or other Booze It & Lose It activities, visit www.ncdot.gov/programs/ghsp.

 

Rachel Johnson is a staff writer at The Brunswick Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or rjohnson@brunswickbeacon.com.