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  • Writer's pictureCCN - Columbus County News

Area Agencies Focus on Holiday Drunk Drivers

With St. Patrick’s Day falling on a Friday this year, area law enforcement are searching for celebrants who may have had a bit too much Irish cheer.

The St. Patrick’s Booze It and Lose It Effort began Monday. Columbus County deputies are increasing patrols and sobriety checking stations through the holiday weekend, which is known for excessive consumption of alcohol.

Columbus Sheriff Bill Rogers urged partygoers to act responsibly.

Traditionally, St. Patrick’s Day is one of the biggest drinking occasions of the year, Rogers said in a press release. With it falling on a Friday, the likelihood of drunk drivers on roads and highways throughout the weekend increases.

“If you plan on celebrating, make sure you have a designated driver or plan to use a Lyft or Uber,” said Rogers in a press release. “Remember, if you feel different, you will drive different.”

Bladen Sheriff Jim McVicker echoed the same message.

“Think twice before you get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, and risk injuring or killing yourself or someone else,” McVicker said in a statement. “If you drive buzzed, it could cost you a pot of gold,” said Sheriff McVicker.

In 2022, 225 motorists were killed or seriously injured in alcohol-related crashes on North Carolina roads during the St. Patrick’s Day enforcement campaign period, according to the Highway Patrol. Columbus County had 67 alcohol related crashes in all of 2022, with six of those involving fatalities. Bladen County had a total of 44 alcohol related crashes and one fatality last year.

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