on May 31, 2012 02:13 PM • Views 2953

Wildlife officers conduct a boat safety inspection.

Media Contact: Geoff Cantrell
919-707-0186
geoff.cantrell@ncwildlife.org

RALEIGH, N.C. (May 31, 2012) — The “On the Road, On the Water, Don’t Drink and Drive” safety campaign saw fewer alcohol-related boating arrests and accidents during Memorial Day weekend than the same holiday period last year.

The 2011 Memorial Day weekend saw 50 operating-while-impaired arrests, compared to 42 this Memorial Day weekend. Total boating violations also were down, 1,568 versus 1,176.

“That makes it a success,” said Wildlife Officer Kim Knight, with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. “When people hear the message and heed it, whether at the wheel of a car or at the helm of a boat, it keeps all of us safer when we travel.”

Any driver with a blood-alcohol concentration that meets or exceeds .08 or is appreciably impaired by alcohol and/or drugs is subject to arrest in North Carolina.

The “On the Road, On the Water, Don’t Drink and Drive” campaign combines law enforcement resources to increase awareness of the dangerous consequences of impaired operation. Leading the campaign are the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, responsible for enforcing boating regulations; the State Highway Patrol, providing for highway safety; and the Alcohol Law Enforcement division, enforcing “Be 21!” underage drinking laws. The campaign is joined by local police and sheriff’s departments and supported by Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

“There is still much to be done to reduce North Carolina’s alcohol-related injuries and fatalities,” Knight said. “But this weekend’s statewide waterway patrol results are encouraging.”

There are more than 200 sworn, full-time wildlife officers across the state who patrol 5,000 square miles of inland streams, rivers, lakes and coastal waterways and instruct certified boating safety education courses. The public can assist them by reporting boating violations to 1-800-662-7137.

Memorial Day weekend citation totals:

Wildlife Resources Commission

Operating While Impaired:  

42

Careless and Negligent Operation: 

8

Other Boat Violations:

343

Other Boat Warnings: 

783

Total:

1,176

 

State Highway Patrol

Driving While Impaired: 

328

Provisional License Violation:

        35

Other Implied Consent Violation:

         91

Drug Violations:

         12

Drug Paraphernalia:

7

Seatbelt Violations:

1,869

Child Restraint Violations:

206

Equipment Violations:

706

Driver License Violations: 

1,301

Registration Violations:

1,253

Other Violations:

3,806

Total:

9,614

 

Wildlife officers routinely stop vessels for safety checks or violations. The goal of this enforcement is always safety. For more information on recreational boating in North Carolina, click here.