Throughout the year, North Carolina law enforcement agencies use saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints during operations to enforce North Carolina driving while impaired laws. But many holidays bring extra attention for statewide DWI enforcement efforts. Many people all across the country attend parties or go to bars to drink green beer and party on St. Patrick’s Day. This year, the annual unofficial spring holiday falls on a Sunday.
Law enforcement agencies across the state are planning on extra enforcement efforts throughout the weekend in the belief that St. Patrick’s celebrations will extend to the entire weekend, beginning Friday.
Local agencies in Pitt County generally have some kind of extra enforcement plans for events or holidays that police believe may bring out more revelers than the average weekend. State officials say that law enforcement agencies statewide will be participating in a St. Patrick’s Day “Booze It and Lose It” DWI enforcement campaign.
This year, officials from the Governor’s Highway Safety Program say that law enforcement will unveil a new North Carolina BATMobile during the weekend. The concept of the BATMobile is not new, we have discussed to units in previous posts. However, state officials say the new 40 foot mobile unit has two magistrate stations and six breath testing stations to facilitate DWI investigations and allegations.
St. Patrick’s Day fell on a Saturday last year. With the day falling on the weekend law enforcement charged 819 people with DWI or underage drinking and driving across the state. As we reported last year, more than 100 of the 800 plus drunk driving arrests last year involved underage drinkers. This year the weekend DWI enforcement campaign will run Friday through Sunday March 17.
Source: WECT, “BATMobile to be unveiled in St. Patrick’s Day ‘Booze It & Lose It’,” Debra Worley, March 13, 2013