Law enforcement officials participate in a statewide campaign against driving while intoxicated (DWI) hosted by the North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program during the holiday season each year. The program has recently published its “2010 Holiday Booze It & Lose It Campaign Totals.”
This year the perennial tradition yielded 140,830 total traffic and criminal violations across North Carolina. That number is down from 150,876 total citations during the holiday “Booze It and Lose It” Campaign held in 2009.
In Guilford County, N.C., DWI arrests fell by almost 40 percent. From December 3, 2010 to January 2, 2011, officers made 132 arrests. During the same season last year, officers arrested 217 people in Guilford County.
Just west of Guilford County, Forsyth County experienced an increase in DWI arrests. The number jumped from 65 arrests last year to 135 during this year’s campaign. That means Forsyth County came in with the third-most total DWI citations this year, behind Mecklenburg County with 360 and Wake County with the highest total—380 people arrested.
Elsewhere in the Triad and central N.C. piedmont region, DWI arrests were either fewer or remained the same as last year. Davidson County officials made 41 DWI arrests, Randolph County totaled 75, and Alamance County had 58. In Caswell, Davie, Stokes and Yadkin Counties, 16 or fewer people were arrested for DWI.
Throughout N.C.’s one hundred counties, 3,873 total DWI arrests were made during the 2010-2011 holiday season “Booze It & Lose It” Campaign.
Additionally, 8,445 total occupant restraint charges were made, with 1,161 of those violations made against child passenger safety restraints. Over 41,000 speeding citations were issued, 2,818 drug violations were reported, 177 stolen vehicles were recovered, and 1,721 fugitives were apprehended.
Many of these citations and arrests were made because of highly effective checkpoints held throughout the state. In all, 1,333 checkpoints were established during the “Booze It & Lose It” Campaign in all but seven of N.C.’s counties.
These numbers add up to a lot of unnecessary risks taken and a lot of important lessons (hopefully) learned. Fines might be a financial burden, but consider the potential of more dire consequences from driving while impaired, failure to wear proper restraints and speeding. Maybe North Carolinians will continue the trend of the most recent holiday season and even fewer DWI, criminal and traffic citations will be issued during the 2011-2012 holiday “Booze It & Lose It” Campaign.