JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Operation Firecracker’s Booze It and Lose It campaign just wrapped up for 2021 and the Governor’s Highway Safety Program sent out the results.
The campaign takes place mostly during the holidays.
“The Booze it and Lose it Campaign is a campaign that we do every year in conjunction with law enforcement agencies and communications outlets, media outlets across the state to publicize the importance of driving sober during the Fourth of July campaign,” said Mark Ezzell, the director of the North Carolina Governors Highway Safety Program.
Law enforcement agencies across the state partner with the Governors State Highway Safety program to increase patrols to catch impaired drivers. They set up checkpoints and use the news to reach out to drivers.
“Ours just wrapped up for 2021, and we’re pleased with the level of participation that we saw from law enforcement agencies,” said Ezzell.
This year was better than last year with law enforcement participation.
“It was difficult for law enforcement, with everything else that was going on, to patrol the roads in 2020 at the same level they had done in 2019,” said Ezzell. “What we’re seeing this year is that it’s stabilized, that law enforcement is out there in force that they have always been, being able to concentrate on keeping our roads safe.”
That means the results this year are much higher than the year before. According to the results, there were almost 1,000 DWI cases in the state this year. The total number of checkpoints and patrols this year was about 700 more than in 2020.
Ezzell said in the future they are looking for more ways to modernize the program.
“We’re working on ways to revamp the campaign, to make it a little more, to sort of modernize it a little bit, to sort of modernize it a little bit,” said Ezzell. “Utilizing social media and utilizing other partners.”