Local News

State troopers crack down on speeders, impaired drivers

Posted September 5, 2011
Updated September 6, 2011

State Trooper K.W. Cole issues a citation during the "Operation Booze It and Lose It" crackdown on impaired driving and speeding on Labor Day 2011.

— Thousands of suspected drunk drivers and speeders were caught in a nearly three-week crackdown by North Carolina enforcement that ended Labor Day.

By noon Monday, stepped-up patrols and checkpoints during "Operation Booze It and Lose It" had resulted in approximately 950 charges for driving while impaired and more than 9,000 citations for speeding.

"There's heavy traffic now, people going back home from the holiday weekend," said First Sgt. K.W. Cooke, with the state Highway Patrol.

Cole was among 15 troopers who patrolled two miles of Interstate 40 near Aviation Parkway Monday morning. In less than three hours, they charged about 70 drivers with going 80 mph or more.

"Most of them, at this point, have been extremely cooperative," Cooke said. "They agree, 'Yes, I was speeding.' Haven't had any people that vehemently deny it."

Troopers cited one driver for going 97 mph in the 65-mph zone.

"Eighty (mph) and above in North Carolina is a mandatory court appearance, because you can lose your license," Cooke said.

That court appearance also incurs at least $188 in court costs, as well as a fine. Thousands face DWI, speeding charges after crackdown Thousands face DWI, speeding charges after crackdown

But state troopers are more concerned about the human cost of impaired driving and speeding.

During last year's "Booze It and Lose It" campaign around Labor Day, there were 500 alcohol-related crashes across North Carolina. Those wrecks killed 20 people and injured 395.

"Slow down. Take your time," Cooke urged. "You've got the full holiday to just relax and get back to where you want to be.

"Don't tailgate, and definitely no drinking and driving," he added.


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  • Stand-In-The-Door Sep 6, 2011

    I love the first picture. This looks like a first sergeant giving someone a citation. A staged picture for the press perhaps? Very seldom do you see sergeants of any rank with the HP giving out citations.

  • castnblast82 Sep 6, 2011

    SLOWER TRAFFIC KEEP RIGHT! If you are done passing, get over and out of the next persons way. I drive for a living and can't tell you how many people I see a day, driving the speed limit or just barely over in the left lane, and fail to move over for the people behind them. This is the most aggrevating thing about other drivers for me. When you're driving for a living, time is money and these people are costing me money.

    Another thing, USE YOUR TURN SIGNAL!!! and not 10 feet before you turn. The blinker should blink several times BEFORE you even start braking.

    Lastly, YIELD TO YOUR RIGHT at 4 way intersections. This is stuff they teach when you're 15 years old, and still some people can't get it right after 20 years of driving experience. Makes me wonder how they've survived this long to begin with.

  • verrymerry Sep 6, 2011

    I agree with mroch123. We were one of the cars pulled over and ticketed. We were going 80 on I95 and were traveling in the left lane at the same rate of speed as everyone else in the lane. We have never driven aggressively or weaved in and out of lanes and both have clean driving records. 40 and I95 are major thoroughfares in which 75 to 80 mph is the standard pace of traffic in the left lane so it is frustrating and dissapointing that there is all of a sudden a "campaign" to crack down on a speed that has become the standard pace of traffic.

    Granted, I agree that aggressive driving (weaving, tailgating) and driving under the influence are unacceptable and need to be addressed. Whilst I respect the law enforcement's need to be more vigilant around the holidays, I do feel like increased revenue played a role. After all don't we have bigger law enforcement issues to worry about?

  • timtooltime777 Sep 6, 2011

    It is all about the money ! Fine $10 dollars, court cost $150.00 We have to keep the justice system funded to keep those jobs ! MONEY !

  • too-obvious Sep 6, 2011

    that should be some good honest money for our great state. the fees and other will help support our troopers and court system.
    good job SHP

  • bonnnie Sep 6, 2011


  • rescuefan Sep 6, 2011

    "The left lane is a passing lane. Period. That said, if I am in the left line and I am passing a string of vehicles at a steady clip, I am probably going to remain in that lane until I pass the slowest moving car ahead in the right lane. I am not going to weave in and out of both lanes every few seconds as long as I am over-taking and passing cars. You do not have the right to tail-gate me at 70-75 mph when the speed limit is 65 mph to try and intimidate me into going faster.

    Exactly! That's what I said a couple of pages back that someone who apparently flunked reading comprehension jumped all over. If I am in the passing lane and passing traffic, I am not going to move over just because someone else thinks they should be going 15-20 mph above the speed limit instead of the 7 above I am traveling at. As soon as I am past the cars I am passing, I will move over.

  • whatelseisnew Sep 6, 2011

    They ought to be cracking down on the speeders and weavers all the time.

  • Tarheel born Sep 6, 2011

    Dannyboy.......you have NO idea what you're talking about. Do your research and get it right.....I've never seen anyone with a 1.4 BAC because it doesn't happen. They would be dead at .50 BAC. And the highest I've personally seen is .32 BAC and he died at the ER from blood poisoning...luckily he didn't kill anyone but himself....

  • bmullins Sep 6, 2011

    Personally I think the .08 is a good limit. Don't forget that .08 will affect 2 people very differently - so while you may be fine at .08, the next person may not be. Studies have shown that texting while driving is much more likely to cause an avoidable accident then driving at .08.

    I'm still floored with the comments about "not moving over for faster traffic". That act alone causes more dangerous activity then anything else I can think of. Between getting people irritated (not really your fault, but it is a result of staying left), having people pass on the right (and having to watch for very slow merging traffic), and generally being inconsiderate, you should definitely reconsider your logic. The NC drivers handbook even says to stay right unless passing.

    And, for the record, I've tracked my car on a raceway, helped teach teens how to "really" drive (emergency lane changes, out of control cars, etc) and all of them had better attitudes then this. Shameful really.