'Booze It and Lose It' campaign kicks off ahead of July 4th holiday
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WILMINGTON -- Law enforcement officials want people to think twice before they drink and drive during the July 4 holiday.
The statewide "Booze It & Loose It: Operation Firecracker" campaign kicked off Friday.
With Operation Firecracker underway, drivers across the state can expect to see more DWI checkpoints and beefed-up patrols.
"It's a senseless crime if you stop and think about it, there are so many alternatives to the decision of getting behind the wheel after you have consumed a large amount of alcohol," said Trooper Troy Pope, with N.C. Highway Patrol.
During last year's campaign, authorities charged more than 1,100 drivers with DWI.
But officials said there was still 241 alcohol-related crashes during the week of 4th of July resulting in three fatalities. That's down from six the same time last year.
"We had some success last year in getting numbers down but any fatalities are too many," said Don Nail, with the Governor's Highway Safety Program.
From the waterways to the roadways, authorities are cracking down on impaired driving.
Law enforcement agencies are stepping up their water patrols to make sure people are celebrating the upcoming holiday safely. They'll be doing boat checks and making sure there is a designated driver on board.
"We want people to go and have fun we just want them to do it in a responsible way, if you have something to drink let someone who hasn't, drive," said Sergeant J.J. Brewer, with New Hanover County Sheriff's Office.
The Booze It & Lose It campaign continues through July 8.