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Officials Hope DUI Checkpoints Will Make Holiday Travel Safer

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RALEIGH — The state Highway Patrol has been out in force looking for drunk drivers, and this weekend will be no different.

"Motorists who think about driving after drinking, or using drugs, need to take this warning seriously," says the DOT's Roger Sheats. "You will be stopped. You will be arrested."

Since last week, the Highway Patrol has been using the state's three

breath alcohol testing units

at sobriety checkpoints across the state as part of the

"Booze It And Lose It" campaign


Troopers will be back out with the mobile units Saturday night and throughout the year.

"Motorists can expect to see more DWI checkpoint and roving patrols, not just during 'Booze It And Lose It,' but throughout the year," says Don Nail, a DOT employee. "Sate and local law enforcement will be on high alert for drunk driving, and we will accept no excuses."

Last week, authorities arrested 35 impaired drivers across the state at five checkpoints.

For first-time DWI offenders, the

minimum tab

starts with about $4,000 in fines. Insurance will likely go up more than $2,000. Lawyer fees will probably start at $1,000 and a jury trial would cost another $1,000.Add it all up and a first-time DWI offender is out $8,600.

Drivers should also keep in mind that officers will stop anyone who demonstrates dangerous or suspicious driving behavior in light of the national security concerns.

The "Booze It And Lose It" campaign lasts through July 14.