Highway patrol and officers with the state’s wildlife commission are increasing patrols over Labor Day weekend.
Law enforcement officers across the state—both on the roadways and waterways—will be on the lookout for impaired drivers and conducting DWI checkpoints on highways and near recreational boating areas, according to a news release from the N.C. State Highway Patrol.
Officers will also be hosting public service announcements to educate motorists about the dangers of drinking while operating a vehicle.
The multi-agency effort is part of an operation — named “On the Road, On the Water, Don’t Drink and Drive” — that is designed to combine law enforcement resources to ensure that all motorists can safely travel on highways and waterways during the summer months. The effort kicked off Memorial Day weekend.
According to the American Automobile Association, 35.5 million people are expected to travel during the Labor Day period. It is anticipated that 86 percent of travelers will get to their destinations by a car.
Last year in North Carolina, troopers investigated 13 fatal collisions and 388 injury collisions over Labor Day weekend, according to highway patrol. This included four fatal collisions and 31 injury collisions attributed to alcohol and drug impairment.
“With summer coming to an end, we realize that more people will be traveling on the highways and waterways,” N.C. State Highway Patrol Spokesman Lt. Jeff Gordon said. “Unfortunately, some operators will choose to get behind the wheel while under the influence. Whether you’re operating a vehicle or boat, impaired driving can have the same deadly consequences.”
The operation will conclude at midnight on Monday, Sept. 7.