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North Carolina police step up patrols this Memorial Day weekend

Drinking and driving claims dozens of lives in North Carolina every year.  Just last alone the state saw 88 deaths and more than 900 injuries as a result of impaired driving.  But this year, Maj. Patricia Poole from the State Highway Patrol is aiming for zero deaths and injuries as her officers, and others from across the state, prepare for this Memorial Day weekend.

Standing by the motto that one death is too many, the state is launching its "On the Road, On the Water, Don't Drink and Drive" campaign for the third straight year.  Agencies from around the state will be conducting sobriety checkpoints and increasing patrols over the holiday weekend in the hopes of preventing any accidents caused by drinking and driving.

Although the number of fatalities and injuries was down last year, Poole thinks that this year will be different.  With the economy on the rebound, people are driving more which means more people on the roadways.  And with the temperature continuing to rise, that also means more people on the state's lakes and waterways as well.

This Memorial Day weekend, police are expecting to see a number of people out on the roadways and on the water, many of whom know the dangers of drinking and driving.  They're hoping that by announcing the increased patrols now, it will help boaters and drivers remember that a choice to drink and drive can not only affect their lives but endanger the lives of the people around them.  Poole stresses that the public can play an important part this holiday weekend by calling police if they observe an impaired person trying to operate a motor vehicle.  By stopping an impaired person before they get behind the wheel could prevent an accident from claiming the life of another person this year.

Source: The Charlotte Observer, "Agencies announce effort to curb drunken driving, boating," Joe Marusak, May 15, 2013