The Governor’s Highway Safety Program’s “Booze it and Lose it” holiday campaign runs from December 7 to January 2, 2013 and Greensboro Police are participating by setting up a local checkpoint at 11 pm on Friday, December 28. The location has not yet been selected. -- Update -- The December 28 checkpoint has been canceled.
The Breath Alcohol Testing vehicle or BAT mobile will be on site during the checkpoint to provide immediate on site forensic processing and serve as a mobile courtroom where defendants will make their first appearance before a magistrate.
The Highway Safety Program includes officers from the Greensboro, High Point and Gibsonville police departments, the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office, NC State Highway Patrol, Guilford County Driving While Impaired Task Force, and NC A&T State University and University of North Carolina - Greensboro campus police departments.
Christmas and New Year's rank among the top holidays for fatalities caused by impaired drivers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. To deter and detect drunk and drugged motorists, Greensboro police will increase their efforts to keep local roadways safe.
“We would much rather prevent someone from getting behind the wheel if they are impaired,” said Sgt. T.A. Long with the Greensboro Police Department Traffic Section. “But if they do, we hope to catch them before they injure or kill themselves or others.”
Drivers are guilty of driving while impaired if their alcohol concentration (BAC) meets or
exceeds 0.08 or they are under the influence of or affected by alcohol and/or other drugs.
“DWI is 100 percent preventable," said Long. “If you are driving, and you are going to consume alcohol, have a plan to get home safely. Designate a driver who will remain alcohol-free. Call a cab. If you are a host and a guest has had too much to drink, take away the car keys and offer him a place to stay until he is fit to drive. Or call a cab for him.”
Last year, 753 motorists were cited for driving while impaired in Greensboro, a 10 percent decline from 2010. So far this year, 751 drivers have been arrested for DWI throughout the city, reversing the decline in 2011.
“Unfortunately, some people will make bad decisions and get behind the wheel after they’ve consumed alcohol,” Long said. “Their poor judgment endangers everyone who shares the roadway with them.”
North Carolina Law:
• Imposes a hefty fine for DWI offenses.
• Creates a “zero tolerance law” for underage drinkers and drivers of commercial vehicles, school buses and day care vehicles.
• Imposes a 30-day administrative driver license revocation for persons who refuse to take the alcohol or drug test requested by an officer or who have a 0.08 BAC or 0.01 BAC if under age 21.
• Allows vehicle seizure and forfeiture for a driver who is impaired and whose license is revoked for DWI or who is impaired and has no license and no insurance.
If you are stopped for being suspected of DWI:
• You may be required to display your driver's license and registration card.
• You may be required to get out of your vehicle.
• You may be required to perform a preliminary sobriety test and a preliminary breath test.
• You could be arrested, searched, handcuffed, restrained in a patrol vehicle and transported to a law enforcement facility for a breath or blood test or both.
• If you refuse to take a breath or blood test, you could lose your driver's license for one year.
• If test results are 0.08 or higher at the time you are tested, your driver's license will be revoked immediately for at least 30 days.
• If you refuse to be tested when asked, your license will be revoked immediately for at least 30 days, plus the charging officer can require you to provide a blood sample for testing and there is no right to refuse.
• If you refused to be tested when asked, DMV will revoke your license for one year, in addition to the immediate 30-day pre-trial revocation even if the officer required you to submit to a blood test.
• You may be booked into jail after having a mug shot taken. This photo is a matter of public record and available for everyone to see.
• If charged with DWI, you will be required to appear in court and enter a plea to a criminal offense.
The City works with the community to improve the quality of life for residents through inclusion, diversity, and trust. As the seventh largest employer in Greensboro, the City has a professional staff of about 3,000 employees who maintain the values of honesty, integrity, stewardship, and respect. The City is governed by a council-manager form of government with a mayor and eight council members. For more information on the City, visit www.greensboro-nc.gov or call 373-CITY (2489).