A Friday night checkpoint that involved state and local agencies resulted in well over 100 violations doled out during the five-hour mult-agency effort.
There were 28 officers from five law enforcement agencies, as well as representatives from other state and local groups, manning the checkpoint, which was held on U.S. 421 South (Faircloth Freeway) at the N.C. 24 East exit.
Participants included the Clinton Police Department, Sampson County Sheriff’s Office, North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicle’s License and Theft Division, N.C. Alcohol Law Enforcement and N.C. State Highway Patrol. Representatives from the N.C. Department of Public Health’s Forensic Tests for Alcohol (FTA) Branch and Carolyn Smith, Sampson County’s MADD representative, were also on hand.
“We planned and coordinated this event as part of our involvement in the Governor’s Highway Safety Program,” said Clinton Police Chief Donald Edwards. “In planning the event, we were able to secure the FTA’s breath alcohol testing bus (BATmobile) and were joined by several of our partnering agencies.”
The checkpoint ran for just over five hours Friday, resulting in a number of violations.
Those violations including three driving while impaired (DWI) offenses, including one under 21 DWI offense. Additionally, there were 14 driving while license revoked charges, 61 no operator’s license charges, eight child restraint violations and 58 other vehicle charges. Additionally, there was one felony drug charge leveled and three wanted persons/fugitives apprehended, police said.
In total, 146 charges were brought as part of the checkpoint.
The Clinton Police Department, along with its partners, are actively involved in the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Governor’s Highway Safety Program throughout the year. The overall mission of the GHSP is to promote highway safety awareness in effort to reduce the number of traffic crashes and fatalities in the state of North Carolina through the planning and execution of safety programs.
Those programs include various checkpoints and enforcement campaigns, including “Click It or Ticket” and “Booze It & Lose It,” the latter of which zeroes in on drunken drivers through innovative education and extensive enforcement of DWI laws. Sobriety checkpoints, such as the one Friday in Clinton, are continually set up in all North Carolina counties as part of the state’s anti-drunk driving campaign.
Law officers use mobile breath-alcohol testing units, better known as BATmobiles, to increase the efficiency of on-site DWI processing. Edwards urged those interested to find out more.
“If citizens are interested, we try to promote these campaigns through our Facebook page or they can find more information about the program through the NCDOT website by searching N.C. Governor’s Highway Safety Program,” the police chief noted.
Managing Editor Chris Berendt can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 2587.