RALEIGH — This Fourth of July weekend, the North Carolina Wildlife Commission wants to remind everyone how important it is to drive sober, both on the highway and on the waters.
The annual multi-agency initiative works to ensure everyone can travel safely on the road and on the water during summer holidays. In North Carolina, a driver or boat operator with a blood-alcohol concentration that meets or exceeds .08 is subject to arrest.
“Operating a car or boat while impaired increases your chances of being involved and possibly injured in an accident,” said Lt. Sam Craft with the Wildlife Commission. “If alcohol is part of your holiday celebration, think before you drink. Have a designated driver. If you are charged with operating a boat while impaired, you will have to appear before a judge. Penalties include a maximum $1,000 fine and possible jail time.”
The “On the Road, On the Water, Don’t Drink and Drive” campaign is coordinated by the Wildlife Commission, State Highway Patrol and Forensic Tests for Alcohol, and supported by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Governor’s Highway Safety Program, U.S. Coast Guard and local police and sheriff’s offices, along with participating non-governmental organizations, such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
Craft added that boating at night typically increases on July 4, which requires boaters to use caution and to be especially observant. Visibility is reduced and inland lighting rulesare in effect. Water skiing is prohibited between one hour after sunset and one hour before sunrise. Personal watercraft are prohibited on state waters between sunset and sunrise. Learn more about enjoying North Carolina’s waterways at www.ncwildlife.org/boating or call 919-707-0031.
Nathan Ham can be reached at 336-846-7164 or followed on Twitter @NathanHam87