RALEIGH — Law enforcement checkpoints looking for impaired drivers and boaters resulted in fewer citations over the Memorial Day weekend compared with the same period last year, according to state officials.
The On the Road, On the Water, Dont Drink and Drive campaign focused on popular boating areas in the state, including Upper Barton Creek at Falls Lake and Farrington Point at Jordan Lake.
From Friday through Monday, the State Highway Patrol issued 7,497 citations statewide, down from 8,177 in 2013. The Wildlife Resources Commission, which patrols the lakes, found 1,393 violations, up from 1,307 in 2013.
The Highway Patrol cited 172 people with driving while impaired and issued 1,398 seat-belt violations. Wildlife officers checked 6,797 boats, gave out 1,370 citations and warnings and found 23 operators who were impaired.
Two factors may have resulted in lower citations from state troopers, said State Highway Patrol spokesman Michael Baker.
I would say that more people are obeying the law than last year, Baker said. Another thing could possibly be we are short in numbers.
Baker said the patrol is about 200 troopers short of its normal 1,800, but said that number will decline when more than 40 troopers graduate from Basic Patrol School on Friday in Cary. Another training class starts in June, Baker said.
More checkpoints are scheduled for June 27, 28 and 29; July 4, 5 and 6; Aug. 29, 30, 31, and Sept. 1.