With the holiday season quickly approaching, you may be finalizing your celebrations. If your plans include eggnog, spiced rum or any other boozy cocktail, you must be aware of enhanced enforcement of North Carolina’s strict drunk driving laws.
In the Tar Heel State, it is unlawful for most motorists to drive with a blood alcohol concentration over 0.08%. While state and local officers stop suspects for driving under the influence at all times of the year, they step up enforcement during the holiday season.
Enhanced enforcement begins on Halloween
According to reporting from WMBF News North Carolina troopers launched their “Booze It and Lose It” campaign on Halloween weekend. Enhanced enforcement tends to be most successful on holidays, as there is typically an increased number of intoxicated drivers on the road.
After Halloween, you can expect to encounter stepped-up patrols around Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Once the holidays conclude, you may not find enhanced DUI enforcement again until St. Patrick’s Day.
Sobriety checkpoints may be common
For officers to stop a suspected drunk driver, they must have reasonable suspicion the driver is violating some law. Even if you drive carefully and follow the rules of the road, though, you may encounter a sobriety checkpoint. Officers do not need reasonable suspicion at sobriety checkpoints, as they stop a random sample of passing motorists to check for intoxication.
How you behave at a DUI checkpoint may make a difference in the outcome of your brief stop, of course. Ultimately, though, if you fail a breath test during either a roadside stop or a sobriety checkpoint, you are likely to start 2022 by facing DUI charges.