Law Enforcement Joins Forces to Combat Impaired Driving, Boating

drunk boating
A Wildlife Officer performs a field sobriety test on a boater. (File photo courtesy WRC)

An estimated 38 million motorists are expected to travel by roadways this Memorial Day weekend. Thousands will also take to the water for the unofficial start of summer boating season.

AAA predicts this holiday period will be one of the busiest in recent history.  The N.C. State Highway Patrol will utilize educational and enforcement efforts to reduce collisions from leading collision factors such as speeding, impaired and distracted driving, as well as reducing the severity of collisions through the enforcement of restraint laws.
Wildlife officers will also be coordinating with other law enforcement agencies to combat impaired and unsafe boating on the state’s public waterways. The effort is part of National Safe Boating Week, and make s a major effort by the Wildlife Commission to improve safety on waterways.

Memorial Day also marks the start of the “100 Deadliest Days” for teen drivers as the summer months historically see an increase in teen driving deaths.  The increased free time lends itself to increased time behind the wheel of a vehicle as young drivers are out of school.  Parents and teens are encouraged to strictly adhere to North Carolina graduated driving requirements.

Checkpoints will also be popping up like spring flowers on area roadways.

The State Highway Patrol is partnering with the  Governor’s Highway Safety Program’s Click It or Ticket campaign.  This campaign involves two seven-day enforcement periods, with the first being May 20-26 and second week being May 27-June 2. The campaign emphasis is being placed on seat belt and child restraint violations.

Thursday marks the official kickoff of the On The Road, On The Water campaign designed to cut down on impaired boating.

The Wildlife Resources Commission (WRC) and other agencies will coordinate efforts to check suspected impaired boaters one waterways as well as on land.

Studies show that alcohol consumption combined with other factors such as a boat’s motion and more intense sunlight can amplify the effects of alcohol on boaters. While it is not illegal to drinking ride in a watercraft, boat operators are held to the same standard — a blood alcohol content of .08 percent — as drivers on land.

Impaired boating also carries the same penalties as DWI.

Motorists can report dangerous driving behaviors to the State Highway Patrol by dialing *HP (*47).


About Jefferson Weaver 2095 Articles
Jefferson Weaver is the Managing Editor of Columbus County News and he can be reached at (910) 914-6056, (910) 632-4965, or by email at [email protected].