01/08/06 — Statistics are in from New Year's holiday weekend

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Statistics are in from New Year's holiday weekend

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on January 8, 2006 2:01 AM

Wayne County authorities investigated 32 wrecks, charged more than 100 people with crimes and filed more than 100 incident reports during the long New Year's holiday weekend.

The Highway Patrol investigated 19 wrecks, and Goldsboro police went to 13 more. Police arrested 38 people and issued 62 citations for minor charges. Sheriff's deputies arrested at least 16 people. Police filed 68 incident reports, and deputies wrote 36 incident reports.

The weekend coincided with the end of the seven-week "Booze It and Lose It" campaign against drunken drivers. Goldsboro police charged 39 people with driving while impaired in the campaign that ran from Nov. 18 to Jan. 2.

The holiday and campaign totals were made available last week.

"I'd like to see the numbers go down next year," said police Maj. M.D. Hopper, who supervises the patrol division. "Our goal between now and the next campaign is to educate the public" about the effects of poor driving.

One problem, Hopper noted, was speeding. Police issued 632 speeding citations during the semi-annual Booze It and Lose It campaign.

"The state is pushing a program, 'No Need to Speed,'" Hopper said. "Speeding is a big problem in the city, the county and the state. Very few days go by that I don't get a call from someone in a neighborhood concerned about speeding."

Hopper said anyone with a concern about speeders should contact his office at 580-4254. He said he would assign officers to the area.

"Speeding leads to lots of injuries," Hopper said. "People need to slow down."

A second problem, the major said, was drivers who talk on cell phones.

"People need to think if that phone call is really important," Hopper said. "They need to concentrate on their driving and wait until they get home to call."

During Booze It and Lose It, Goldsboro police held 17 checkpoints and 173 random and saturation patrols. They charged 43 people with seat-belt violations, 18 with child-restraint violations, 134 with driving while their license was revoked, four with other license offenses and 660 with other traffic violations.

The police also charged 27 people with drug violations and 74 people with other criminal offenses. They recovered two stolen vehicles and apprehended four fugitives.

During the campaign's final week that included the New Year's holiday, eight people were charged with DWI, five with seat-belt violations, 60 with speeding, 20 with driving while their license was revoked and 103 with other traffic violations.

Across North Carolina, officers issued 199,960 charges, including 6,258 for driving while impaired, during the campaign.