RALEIGH, N.C. (Feb. 2, 2010) – The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has been recognized as an agency of the year by Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
The honor, for achievements in 2008, was presented during a biennium MADD Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice Awards of Excellence banquet held Jan. 22 in Raleigh. The award goes to a law enforcement agency that has demonstrated excellence in implementing innovative and creative techniques in the detection and deterrence of impaired driving.
“In this case, that driving was on the water,” said Lori Brown, development officer with the North Carolina office of MADD. “Law enforcement is the first line of defense, and the role of Wildlife Resources Commission officers in both enforcement and instruction is exemplary.”
Sgt. Reggie Barker of Chatham County, Master Officer Allen Carlisle of Catawba County, Lt. Todd Radabaugh of Pender County, Sgt. Brad Stoop of Bertie County and Master Officer Ryan Taylor of Carteret County accepted the award. These wildlife officers make up the state’s Boating Under the Influence Prevention Instructor Team, which conducts instruction in detecting and apprehending intoxicated boaters.
Operating a recreational vessel while under the influence of an impairing substance or with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher is illegal in North Carolina. Alcohol is a factor in over 20 percent of boating fatalities.
Wildlife officers plan to continue a “Boat Safe, Boat Sober” campaign in 2010, with efforts to inform the boating public about the dangers of intoxication on the water. Alcohol affects the skills necessary to operate a boat, including:
- Peripheral vision and ability to focus
- Judgment and rational decision-making
- Balance and equilibrium
- Coordination and reaction time
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission administers free boating safety education courses that will be required, beginning May 1, 2010, for anyone younger than 26 years old operating a vessel powered by 10 horsepower or greater motor on public waterways. To check course availability, click here or call (919) 707-0031.
About N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission
Since 1947, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission has been dedicated to the conservation and sustainability of the state's fish and wildlife resources through research, scientific management, wise use, and public input. The Commission is the state regulatory agency responsible for the enforcement of fishing, hunting, trapping and boating laws and provides programs and opportunities for wildlife-related educational, recreational and sporting activities. To learn more, visit www.ncwildlife.org.
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