With the beginning of a new year, the State Highway Patrol will be placing an emphasis on DWI enforcement and the reduction of alcohol related collisions. The patrol will also be proactive in providing more educational programs to motorist about the importance of not driving while impaired, providing a special focus on teenage drivers.
In 2014, the Highway Patrol investigated 5,460 alcohol related collisions contributing to 3,697 reported injuries. Also as a result, there were 181 people killed, reflecting a 20% decrease from the 228 people killed in 2013.
Throughout the state, troopers made 20,012 DWI arrest, averting an increase in the number of alcohol related collisions. Along with alcohol related violations, the patrol made 2,390 drug charges, some of which led to impaired motorist due to illegal drugs.
Each year across the United States, countless lives are lost due to drinking and driving. Here are some staggering statistics:
* Nearly 12,000 people die every year in DWI-related collisions across the U.S. More than 900,000 are arrested each year for DUI/DWI and a 1/3 of those are repeat offenders
* In North Carolina, 9 out of 100,000 people die in alcohol related collisions
* Almost half of all drivers who were killed in collisions and tested positive for drugs also had alcohol in their system
* The annual cost of alcohol-related collisions totals more than $51 billion
“In 2015, we will continue to stand firm on our mission of saving lives and providing safe travel throughout our great state,” said Colonel Bill Grey, commander of the State Highway Patrol. “Our troopers will work diligently to enforce the DWI laws and remove impaired drivers from our roadways. Through DWI education and enforcement along with the help of our citizens, we can and will make our roadways safer.”
Citizens can contribute to highway safety by reporting impaired and erratic drivers by simply dialing *HP or (*47) on a cellular phone. Callers should give the description of the vehicle, location, direction of travel and license plate number if at all possible.