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OTROTW Radabaugh 5-24-16RALEIGH — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, State Highway Patrol and Mothers Against Drunk Driving kicked off the sixth annual “On the Road, On the Water, Don’t Drink and Drive” campaign with a news conference today in Wrightsville Beach.

The multi-agency safety initiative works to reduce alcohol-related accidents on the state’s roadways and waterways, both of which see increased traffic during summer months. According to statistics published by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Coast Guard, North Carolina ranks 10th nationally in boating fatalities.

Speakers from the participating agencies stressed the importance of having a designated driver, whether operating a vehicle or vessel.

“The dangers and consequences of driving a vehicle or a vessel while impaired cannot be stressed enough,” said Capt. Todd Radabaugh of the Wildlife Resources Commission. “Accidents caused by driving under the influence are entirely preventable, so it’s important to have a plan. Designate a driver, call a cab or phone a friend. Don’t risk your life or the lives of others by getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol.”

Starting this weekend, enforcement officers will be conducting sobriety checkpoints and promoting public awareness to deter impaired operation of vehicles and vessels. Awareness and enforcement efforts are centered on four of the busiest summer weekends, including:

*Memorial Day – May 28–30, 2016

*Operation Dry Water (National safety campaign) – June 24–26, 2016

*Independence Day – July 2–4, 2016

*Labor Day – Sept. 3–5, 2016

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

The campaign is coordinated by the Wildlife Resources Commission, State Highway Patrol and Forensic Tests for Alcohol, and supported by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Coast Guard and local police and sheriff’s offices, along with participating non-governmental organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

For more information on boating safety and regulations, visit www.ncwildlife.org/boating or call 919-707-0031.

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