RALEIGH – The North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program is reminding drivers and boaters not to drink and drive this Fourth of July.
That was the message from traffic safety officials and law enforcement officers at Wednesday’s launch in Raleigh of anti-drunk driving campaigns aimed at automobile drivers and boaters.
Officials were at the Falls Lake Upper Barton Creek Boating Access Area in Raleigh for Wednesday morning’s launch of the “Operation Firecracker Booze It & Lose It” and “Operation Dry Water” campaigns.
“We want people to have a good time, but it’s never wise to drink and then operate a car, truck, boat or any vehicle,” said Mark Ezzell, director of the N.C. Governor’s Highway Safety Program. “If you plan to drink alcohol this holiday weekend, or any day, rely on a designated driver, call a friend, use a cab or a ride-sharing service.”
The “Booze It & Lose It” campaign started June 26, and ends July 9, and the “Dry Water” campaign runs July 1-3.
During the campaigns, officials are raising awareness about the dangers of drunk driving and increasing enforcement patrols to crack down on impaired drivers on roads and waterways.
“It’s easy to celebrate the Fourth responsibly,” said North Carolina State Highway Patrol Commander Col. Freddy Johnson Jr. “It’s a lot more difficult and often impossible to correct the mistakes people make when they drink and drive. So, please make a plan to get home safely so you don’t risk your life or someone else’s.”
More than 32% of the state’s 65 traffic fatalities for the last five years of published data were alcohol-related, according to the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles’ North Carolina 2021 Traffic Crash Facts report.
State troopers will be on the lookout during the “Booze It & Lose It” campaign to crack down on drunk drivers.
As part of “Operation Dry Water,” law enforcement officers with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will also be stepping up marine patrols to ensure boat drivers are sober on North Carolina’s waterways.
Alcohol use is the leading contributor in recreational boater deaths, according to the National Boating Under the Influence Awareness and Enforcement Campaign.