By Jesse Wood
July 3, 2013. “Booze It or Lose It: Operation Firecracker,” a campaign cracking down on those who drive drunk in North Carolina, continues through the holiday weekend. Expect more traffic checkpoints and stepped-up patrols in the High Country through Sunday to ensure safety on the roads.
“The July 4th holiday is a time to make memories with family and friends, but those memories can easily turn tragic if you drink and drive,” said Don Nail, the newly appointed director of the Governor’s Highway Safety Program. “Law enforcement agencies and DWI task forces across the state will step up patrols during this campaign to cite drunk drivers and help keep our roads safe.”
The campaign, which is a collaboration between the Governor’s Highway Safety Program, N.C. Department of Transportation and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, began last Friday and ends on Sunday, July 7.
In its latest weekly briefs, the Avery County Sheriff’s Office noted its current participation in “Operation Firecracker.” While encouraging a festive Fourth of July, the sheriff’s office also alerted residents of the dangers of driving after drinking alcohol.
During last year’s campaign, more than 1,900 DWI citations were issued across the state, and during the 2012 “Booze It or Lose It: Operation Firecracker,” 17 people died in 361 alcohol related crashes, according to statistics provided by the N.C. Department of Transportation.