01/05/11 — New Year Highway Safety

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New Year Highway Safety

By Gary Popp
Published in News on January 5, 2011 1:46 PM

State Highway Patrol officials said the New Year's weekend was relatively quiet in Wayne County as a nearly month-long Booze It & Lose It campaign came to an end with no increase in the number of drunk drivers arrested.

"What I see through New Year celebrations is people truly making an effort not to drink and drive," First Sgt. Jerry Burton of the Wayne County office of the North Carolina Highway Patrol.

He explained that despite its reputation, New Year's Eve is not the worst when it comes to people getting behind the wheel when they have had too much to drink.

Rather, he said, it is the summer celebrations such as Memorial Day weekend, the Fourth of July and Labor Day weekends, Fourth of July, Memorial Day and Labor Day, when people are more likely drive impaired, he said.

Burton said that there seems to be more awareness of the dangers of drinking and driving nowadays, much of it generated by public campaigns and the media.

But the Booze It & Lose It campaign didn't come up completely empty-handed. Through checking stations and general patrol, law enforcement officials across the county issued a total of 2,149 traffic and criminal violations from Dec. 3 to Jan 2.

The during the campaign, 53 charges of driving while impaired were issued.

Speeding was the most single issued violation, accounting for 793 of the total number of charges.

The second most single issued charge was driving while license revoked, accounting for 116 of the violations.

Non-specified traffic violations accounted for 825 of the violations.

A total of 203 occupants restraint charges were issued, 16 of which were child passenger safety violations.

A total of 53 criminal violations were issued, 22 of which were drug violations.

During the campaign a total of 15 checking stations were set up across the county.

The agencies taking part in the Booze It or Lose It program were the Goldsboro Police Department, Wayne County Sheriff's Office, state Highway Patrol, Fremont Police Department and Mount Olive Police Department.