Annual ‘Operation Firecracker’ removes drunk drivers from N.C. roadways

RALEIGH – State and local law enforcement officers arrested 1,729 driving impaired drivers during the annual Governor’s Highway Safety Program’s Booze It & Lose It – Operation Firecracker enforcement campaign of June 24 through July 4. More than 1,600 of those arrests were alcohol related, with another 125 drug related.

Over the enforcement period law enforcement agencies across North Carolina issued 63,218 traffic and criminal violations during 4,635 sobriety-checking stations and saturation patrols.

“I am thankful for the work North Carolina’s law enforcement officers did during the holiday to keep those traveling the state’s roadways safe and to keep the Fourth of July a time for celebration of our nation’s birth,” said Don Nail, director of the GHSP. “It is the goal of Gov. McCrory’s Vision Zero campaign to reach zero fatalities on our roads in North Carolina and the Booze It & Lose It campaign helps complement this goal.”

The top five counties for DWI arrests during the Booze It & Lose It – Operation Firecracker enforcement campaign were: Wake County with 124; Robeson County with 116; Guilford County with 105; Mecklenburg County with 87; and Cumberland County with 83. In Bladen County, there were a total of 15 arrests during the operation.

The N.C. Department of Transportation and GHSP promoted sober driving thorough its “Don’t Drink and Drive. You’re Smarter Than That.” marketing campaign. The campaign placed marketing message in targeted bars, movie theaters, and sidewalks to remind motorists to plan a way home in advance before drinking. A new website,, was launched to complement enforcement efforts. The website offers information about impaired driving and resources to find readily available means to get individuals home safely after drinking —including calling a friend, using a taxi, taking public transportation, or designating a driver.