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Police officials target holiday drunk driving in North Carolina

North Carolina citizens beware. The state's Department of Transportation and the Governor's Highway Safety Patrol Program is planning to step-up its drunk driving enforcement through July 6 with the "Booze It & Lose It: Operation Firecracker" campaign. Independence Day is the perfect time to celebrate our country's freedom, but be forewarned that law enforcement officials will be watching the roads with extra vigilant attention.

According to the director of the Governor's Highway Safety Program, members of North Carolina's police departments plan to work harder than ever to keep holiday drunk drivers off the roads. Some of the strategies police officials will use include increasing public awareness to curtail those who might otherwise drive after driving, stepping up police saturation patrols and making use of drunk driver checking stations.

Last year, North Carolina reported 353 alcohol-related fatalities. While this year is showing improvement with only 105 alcohol-related fatalities so far, there is always room for improvement. During the same period last year, there were already 164 alcohol-related deaths in North Carolina.

Officials participating in the "Booze It & Lose It: Operation Firecracker" campaign suggest the following tips to prevent drunk driving: use designated drivers, make other arrangements if you've consumed too much alcohol, plan a way home ahead of time, and take the keys away from impaired drivers.

Unfortunately, some may misjudge their level of sobriety and attempt to drive anyway. For those who make such a mistake and get arrested for drunk driving, it's probably best to cooperate with the police and be thankful no accident occurred. You can consult with a DUI attorney who will investigate the arrest and the field sobriety tests to make sure your rights remained protected.

Source: The Daily Dispatch, "Operation Firecracker seeks to reduce drunk driving," June 27, 2014.

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