If you’re enjoying the holidays with a drink, the N.C. Department of Transportation and theGovernor’s Highway Safety Program (GHSP), along with state and local law enforcement, have a message for you: “Booze It & Lose It.”
Due to the increase in drunk-driving-related fatalities around the holidays each year, state and local law enforcement agencies across North Carolina will kick off the statewide holiday Booze It & Lose It campaign to actively search for and arrest impaired drivers with an event in Winston-Salem on Friday. The statewide campaign continues through January 3.
In 2014, 380 people were killed in crashes involving a drunk driver, and in December 2014 alone there were 24 people killed in crashes involving at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. One of those deaths occurred on Christmas Day.
Fatalities as a result of an impaired driver are currently down nine percent with 347 deaths in North Carolina so far this year, but any life lost because of an impaired driver is one too many.
“The holiday season is a time for happiness, joy and time with loved ones, not a time for dealing with tragic loss of life,” said Don Nail, director of GHSP. “If you plan to drink please find a safe and sober ride home and hand the keys over to someone else – a sober friend, a taxi or public transportation.”
As part of the campaign period, law enforcement is increasing the number of saturation patrols, setting up checking stations and using local media to reach out to all drivers. If you’re driving after drinking, police will stop you. If you’re caught driving impaired you could face jail time, fines, loss of driver’s license, towing fees, and other DWI expenses, totaling $10,000 on average. That’s not a small price, and that doesn’t even count the heftier price you could pay: the price of your life or someone else’s.