Police across North Carolina have launched their annual December crackdown on drunken drivers.
The Booze It & Lose It campaign started Friday and will end on Jan. 2. Authorities say drunken driving is a major problem during the holidays, with many people celebrating at parties.
During a Saturday evening traffic checkpoint in the 5100 block of Sharon Road, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police charged 10 people with driving while impaired.
From 11 p.m. to 3 a.m., CMPD operated the checkpoint with the help of the Mint Hill Police Department.
Police issued 57 charges during the crackdown, including four for driving while license revoked, 21 for no operators license and one for an open container of alcohol.
More than 3,600 North Carolina motorists were arrested on DWI charges during the Booze It & Lose It campaign last year. Police say they conducted more than 10,000 checkpoints and increased patrols.
Make the responsible decision to designate a driver if you plan to drink this holiday season, N.C. Transportation Secretary Gene Conti said Friday, during a program announcing the start of the campaign. The choice you make could save a life.
Authorities say there were more than 950 alcohol-related crashes in North Carolina last year in December, resulting in 44 deaths and 702 injuries.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police annually conduct a series of DWI checkpoints across the city, and other regional law enforcement agencies also operate checkpoints.
State transportation officials say a Thanksgiving holiday program designed to enforce the seat-belt law resulted in more than 3,700 citations to drivers and passengers for not being in seat belts or child-restraint seats.
Click It or Ticket was conducted Nov. 19-25 across North Carolina.
Officials say they had more than 4,600 checkpoints and increased patrols during the week, which produces the largest amount of motor travel during the year. In addition to the seat-belt citations, police also arrested 815 drivers on DWI charges, recovered 43 stolen vehicles, and captured 825 fugitives.
Wake County had the largest number of seat belt and child-restraint law citations, with 292. Columbus County, in southeast North Carolina, was second with 233. While Columbus is not among the states most populous counties, it is crossed by a number of major U.S. and interstate highways. Third was Mecklenburg County, with 224 citations.
The largest number of DWI arrests, 58, was in Guilford County. Other top totals were Mecklenburg (48), Wake (44), Forsyth (39), Cumberland (36), New Hanover (31), Brunswick (26), Cabarrus and Robeson (21 each), and Randolph (20).
Mecklenburg County had the highest number of speeding tickets, with 876. Other top totals were Guilfords 673, Cabarrus 518, and Wakes 510.
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