12/30/05 — Impaired drivers to be targeted

View Archive

Impaired drivers to be targeted

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on December 30, 2005 1:48 PM

Wayne County law authorities will be looking for drunken drivers, speeders and other reckless motorists over the long New Year's weekend.

The holiday also will cap the seven-week "Booze It and Lose It" campaign aimed at removing drunken drivers from the state's highways.

"We're putting special emphasis on looking for impaired drivers," said Goldsboro police Maj. M.D. Hopper, who supervises the department's patrol division.

Hopper urged people who will celebrate the New Year with alcohol to ride with a designated driver who remains sober.

Spokesmen for the Goldsboro police, the Highway Patrol and Wayne County Sheriff's Office said they will not conduct any major checkpoints during the weekend with one of the state's BAT-mobiles. However, each agency may set up smaller checking stations on an as-needed basis. Those suspected of drunken driving will be taken to the magistrates' office in the courthouse.

Highway Patrol 1st Sgt. T.C. McLeod said his troopers will concentrate on high-accident areas, including U.S. 70, U.S. 117, Wayne Memorial Drive and Pikeville-Princeton Road.

"We'll keep on hitting those areas hard with line patrols and saturation patrols in high-accident areas," he said. "We'll hit them as hard as we can and as often as we can."

Troopers on a line patrol are assigned to a particular road and those on a saturation patrol are assigned to an area.

McLeod said he will hold driver's license checks during the day and night and will set up the radar trailer that measures and shows a vehicle's speed.

"We'll do what we can do," McLeod said, noting that the Wayne County district is four troopers short because of promotions and reassignments.

Sheriff's Lt. Daryll Overton said deputies would be on their regular patrols over the weekend. But he said special, or part-time, deputies might be added to the shifts.

During the last reporting period in the Booze It and Lose It campaign, four people were charged by Goldsboro police with driving while impaired. The police conducted two checkpoints and 19 saturation or random patrols. Four people also were charged with seat-belt violations, and four were charged with child-restraint offenses. A total of 143 people were charged with speeding, 16 with driving while their licenses were revoked, one with a driver's license violation and 119 with other traffic offenses.

Police filed five drug charges and 11 other criminal charges for a total of 307 charges for the period. One fugitive also was arrested.

The statewide campaign started Nov. 18.