Crime & Courts

St. Patrick’s Booze It & Lose It campaign kicks off in Charlotte

A statewide campaign to nab drunken drivers over the St. Patrick’s Day weekend kicked off at BB&T BallPark in uptown Charlotte on Wednesday.

St. Patrick’s Day is Thursday, and many related festivities continue through the weekend.

The holiday has turned deadly in the United States, with a dramatic spike in drunken-driving fatalities, state highway officials said in announcing the St. Patrick’s Booze It & Lose It campaign.

Last St. Patrick’s Day weekend in North Carolina, 11 people were killed in crashes. Four of the wrecks involved a driver or motorcyclist with a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher.

“Before you take a sip of that green beer, we want you to have a plan to get home safely,” said Don Nail, director of the N.C. Governor’s Highway Safety Program.

“Buzzed driving is drunk driving,” Nail said. “If you have just one drink, call a taxi, take public transit, app a ride or have a designated sober driver to help you get home safely.”

The campaign will continue through Sunday.

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067, @jmarusak