The “Booze It & Lose It” campaign zeros in on drunken drivers with innovative and extensive anti-driving while impaired (DWI) enforcement and education. Sobriety checkpoints are continually set up in all North Carolina counties as part of the state’s highly effective anti-drunk driving campaign. North Carolina law enforcement officers conduct more than 10,000 checkpoints a year under the Booze It and Lose It campaign.
According to the NC Department of Transportation, law officers use six mobile breath-alcohol testing units, better known as BATMobiles, to increase the efficiency of on-site DWI processing. Each BATMobile is equipped with workstations for Intoxilyzer 5000 breath test instruments, cellular telephones, computers, officers’ workstations, magistrates’ work area, lavatory, DWI checkpoint signs, traffic cones, traffic vests, search batons, screening tests devices and all other necessary equipment and supplies for processing DWI suspects.
A part of North Carolina’s zero-tolerance initiative, the Booze It or Lose It campaign is designed to:
Deter and remove impaired drivers from the roadways using checkpoints and patrols when and where alcohol-impaired driving is most likely to occur, and
Educate the public about the dangers and consequences of impaired driving.
North Carolina is not the only state that emphasizes sobriety checkpoints as a way to prevent DWI and enforce highway safety. Other states with similar programs include:
- District of Columbia
- North Carolina
- West Virginia
These states conduct sobriety checkpoints every week at varying times and locations, so area drivers never know when or where they may encounter one.
By working with other states in the region, North Carolina has implemented best practices for checkpoint and increased highway safety patrol operations, which include:
- Lighted and/or variable message signs are placed near the entrance of a checkpoint operation or segment of roadway associated with a saturation patrol to notify drivers of the checkpoint or saturation patrol.
- High-intensity lights are used to increase the visibility of the checkpoint. They also provide light to work by and increase safety.
- Large signs are placed near the entrance of a checkpoint operation or segment of roadway associated with a saturation patrol to notify drivers of the checkpoint or saturation patrol. These are often reflective and usually highly portable.
- Large vans or trailers with specialized insignia are often used for breath or blood testing, booking offenders, and workspace for administrative tasks. The size of these vehicles, often coupled with the use of reflective police insignia and anti-DWI slogans, increase the visual effect of HVE operations.
- Specialized insignia on patrol cars, especially those associated with saturation patrols, identify them as being part of DUI or DWI enforcement efforts. These insignia can be permanent or temporary magnetic signs.
- Specialized insignia on officers, such as badges or lettering on reflective vests, identify the officers as being part of anti-DWI efforts. These can be worn by officers both at checkpoints and on saturation patrols so they are more visible to passing motorists when officers are out of their vehicles at traffic stops.
The state has also used media to raise awareness of enforcement operations and educate the community about impaired-driving issues.
Have you noticed a sobriety checkpoint or DWI warning sign? Have you driven a stretch on I-85 and wondered why so many police cars seemed to be concentrated in one area? Do you think these measures are necessary to keep our roads safe?
Source: The Clark Law Office