The N.C. Governor’s Highway Safety Program joined Western North Carolina partners, including Buncombe County Sheriff Quentin Miller, Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer, and local restaurant owners at Rabbit Rabbit in Asheville on Thursday, Oct. 21, to formally kick off the “Booze It & Lose It” Halloween Statewide Enforcement Campaign.
The campaign, which runs from Monday, Oct. 25-Sunday, Oct. 31, zeros in on impaired drivers through innovative and extensive enforcement and education, including law enforcement patrols in all North Carolina counties.
The Halloween season is a busy one for crashes in North Carolina. In October of last year, 33 people died and 83 were seriously injured in alcohol-related crashes statewide. So far in North Carolina in 2021, there have been 271 alcohol-related fatalities – a decrease of 23 percent from this time last year. In 2020, 435 people were killed and 908 were seriously injured in alcohol-related crashes.
“Efforts like our Booze It and Lose It enforcement and education campaigns play a big part in getting impaired drivers off our roadways and discouraging reckless behavior that puts everyone’s safety in jeopardy,” said Mark Ezzell, director of the NC Governor’s Highway Safety Program. “But we can’t do this alone – and today, we’re highlighting the partnerships that play a key role in keeping our roads safe.”
“Preventing impaired driving is really a community effort. As a society, we have a drinking problem – and solving it will require all of us working together,” said Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer.
“If you see someone who has had too much to drink trying to drive, tell them not to do it. We must do this together,” said Buncombe County Sheriff Quentin Miller.
“As the owner of three alcohol-serving venues, it’s imperative that we try to do the job the best we can and educate our staff about responsible serving,” said Charlie Hodge, owner of Sovereign Remedies, The Getaway and Asheville Beauty Academy.