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A staff report

Raleigh, NC — The North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission, in collaboration with the NC State Highway Patrol, Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), and local law enforcement agencies, announces the launch of the 14th annual “On the Road, On the Water, Don’t Drink and Drive” safety campaign. This statewide initiative aims to reduce accidents and enhance safety on both roadways and waterways throughout the summer.

As part of the campaign, enforcement officers will conduct sobriety checkpoints and increase public awareness efforts across North Carolina to deter the impaired operation of vehicles and vessels. The campaign underscores the dangers of alcohol and drug use on driving and boating abilities and promotes the designation of sober drivers and operators.

“Each year, our goal is to ensure that everyone enjoys their summer activities without incident,” said a spokesperson for the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission. “Impairment by alcohol or drugs is a significant risk factor for both drivers and vessel operators. We are committed to enforcing sobriety laws and educating the public to prevent these avoidable accidents.”

Statistics from the Commission highlight the importance of this campaign:
– The peak months for boating accidents are May, June, and July.
– In 2024, there have already been 19 boating incidents, with 6 being fatal.
– Alcohol was a contributing factor in two of these incidents.

The campaign will focus on the busy holiday weekends, which historically see a surge in travel and recreational activities:
– May 24-27, 2024
– July 4-6, 2024 (coinciding with Operation Dry Water, a national campaign)
– August 30 – September 2, 2024

The Commission also stresses the importance of wearing life vests on the water. In 2024, of the 7 fatalities recorded, only one individual was wearing a personal flotation device (PFD) at the time of the accident.

State law mandates that anyone born on or after January 1, 1988, who operates a vessel powered by a motor of 10 horsepower or greater, must complete an approved boating safety education course.

For additional safety information and resources, please visit North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission’s website at: https://www.ncwildlife.org/boating.

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and its partners urge everyone to make safety a priority to ensure a fun and accident-free summer.

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