State News

Drivers: Watch blood alcohol concentration on 08.08.08

Posted August 8, 2008

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— Friday's date is 08.08.08, but the numbers signify something else to law enforcement – it's illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration above .08.

To remind people not to drink and drive, law enforcement agencies throughout the state will conduct a "Booze It & Lose It" campaign Friday.

Across the state, officers will set up checkpoints and increase patrols to locate drunken drivers. State officials said they hope the enforcement measure will encourage more residents to comply with the law.

"It pays off," said Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison. "It makes a person think, 'I'm going to leave this bar drinking. No, wait a minute. I better not leave. The sheriff may have a check station there or Highway Patrol or Raleigh PD (Police Department)."

During a 10-day checkpoint campaign around the July Fourth holiday, law enforcement handed out nearly 1,986 DWI citations at 5,724 checkpoints and patrols. Wake County accounted for 132, Mecklenburg County for 114, and Robeson and New Hanover counties for 61 each.

Officials say the ultimate goal of checkpoints is to save lives. Since April, six people in Raleigh have died in wrecks allegedly caused by drunken drivers.

Lillian Broox Manis, 17, of Chapel Hill, died on July 12 in a head-on collision at Glenwood Avenue and Lake Wheeler Road with a car driven by Justin Caleb Crouse, 19, of 4612 Limerick Drive in Raleigh. Callers to 911 reported that Crouse was driving drunk hours earlier.

Police say Francisco Javier Martinez, 30, of 1925 Village Squire Circle in Knightdale, was driving the wrong way on the Inner Beltline on May 25 when his van struck a sedan. Two brothers – Guillermo Zintzun Jimenez, 26, and Dagoberto Zintzun Jimenez, 21 – and a family friend – Santiago Pascual Tellez, 14 – died.

Christine Haithcock Meyers, 41, of 1149 Blackbeard Lane in Raleigh, faces second-degree murder charges in the deaths of Ruben Dario Medina, 34, and his son, Jefferson, 10. The wreck occurred on April 2 at Buffaloe Road at Westminster Drive in Raleigh.

Most recently, Raleigh police say Eugene Gill, 35, of Apex, was drunk when he caused a wreck that shut down Interstate 40, near Gorman Street, last Thursday night. Gill and two other people were injured.

Last year, nearly 500 North Carolinians died from alcohol-related crashes, and more than 9,000 were severely injured.

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  • meteo Aug 11, 2008

    I applaud the DWI checkpoints. Unfortunately, Friday's checkpoint in Downtown Raleigh really makes me skeptical of how serious law enforcement wanted to treat this. The checkpoint was on the 300 block of St. Mary's Street. There's nothing there, really, and no real reason for people to drive that route. Additionally, there were no police patrolling the side streets before the checkpoint. If someone had been drinking, they were able to see the checkpoint ahead and just turn down another street.

    If the police had really wanted to catch DWI drivers on Friday, they could have chosen a spot that would likely have drunk drivers (say, one of the roads leading out of Downtown). It's a shame that the manpower was spent in that location. Good idea, poor execution.

  • Trublue in Wake County Aug 8, 2008

    MPHEELS - actually its a two way battle in the court room, from a UCMJ standpoint the burden of proof is reversed and specifications are used to convict rather than a single charge. But you are correct :-)

  • mpheels Aug 8, 2008

    trueblue, I've agreed with a lot of the stuff you've posted here, and have a healthy respect for LEO, but you're wrong on the burden of proof. Burden of proof is squarely on the prosecution. The DAs, and law enforcement are responsible for collecting and presenting evidence. The defense doesn't have to do anything except explain why the evidence doesn't mean they're guilty. It's generally in the best interest of the defense to do a little work too, but the prosecution still has to prove guilt as opposed to the defense proving innocence.

  • Timbo Aug 8, 2008

    Another farcical law, which I'm sure near and dear to your heart, is "Assault on a Public Official". What a joke. That law is *CLEAR* violation of the 14th amendment guaranteeing equal protection under the law. So smacking a dweep bureaucrat should be punished more than smacking my 32 year old neighbor? I'd say all that is, is pandering to a vocal, high percentage voting block of do nothings.

    Also note, if you can break away from your "Johnny Law" persona for a few minutes, the founding of our county was the last time our intellectual elite and political leaders were one in the same.

    Now, all we have are thieves and life long bureaucrats maneuvering for their various agendas.

    I don't think anything I've said is socialist or "ACLUist", it's what most AMERICANS with a brain believe.

  • Timbo Aug 8, 2008

    Trublue in Wake County, you are clueless. The people that once thought like me were the founders of the United States of America. Pay attention.

    If the ACLU could have it's way, no one would be able to own weapons. I admit, the ACLU occasionally gets it right, but only when they are running out of money and looking for monetary contributions.

    For example, if the ACLU was truly concerned about our rigts, they'd go after the Federal "violation of civil rights" law. What a farce. Ever heard of double jeopardy? Ask those cops in California that hurt Rodney King's feelings when he would not cooperate and resisted arrest. They later got convicted of Federal Civil rights violations after being acquitted of state charges for the incident. Where was the ACLU then????

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  • Trublue in Wake County Aug 8, 2008

    Timbo - thier's a guy named Che that once thought the same thing....Maybe you should start an allotment to the ACLU *founded by the president of the american communist party by the way*

  • sickofstupidpeople Aug 8, 2008

    "but what about all the prescription meds people are taking and mixing it with who knows what?"

    Guess you haven't heard of a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE), have you?

    "That does not justify stepping all over peoples rights."

    Um, this has been upheld in the courts.

  • Timbo Aug 8, 2008

    "To answer your question - how many dead people are buried in a cemetary?"

    That does not justify stepping all over peoples rights.

  • Timbo Aug 8, 2008

    Your understanding of the Constitution and what it means to be an American is minimal at best. It is clear your psychological need for situational authority exceeds any common sense you may have. You may quote all the "procedures" you want justifying incompetency by law enforcement agencies, but the deal is, you guys are not solving problems; you guys are just implementing mindless laws passed by pandering idiotic politicians.

    This is why Americans need to have the same fire power as the military and law enforcement agencies. The erosion of our rights by automatons and politicians who have learned they can raid the public treasury with impunity and pass law after law that strips Americans of their fundamental rights requires that it be so. At some point, we may, and I hope not, have to remind the thieves and remind people like you that it isn't enough to quote policies and procedures, it's required that you actually think about what your are doing; clearly you not now.

  • Timbo Aug 8, 2008

    "That's not a fact, that's your opinion. Thankfully though, the majority of American citizens are smart enough to know that it's NOT harassment, and therefore have supported the checkpoints."

    No, the majority of the smart citizens take checkpoints for what they are: stopping citizens without probable cause. There is really no defending checkpoints with the logic you propose: i.e. we get such-in-such a criminal off the road. Using that logic, you should be allowed to search peoples houses when you feel like, cause I'm sure you'll find something illegal or somebody with outstanding warrants in 10% or so of the houses.

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