SOUTHEASTERN, N.C. (WECT) – Police, sheriff’s deputies and highway patrol will have extra units both on the roads and on the water during Labor Day weekend.
Law enforcement said Labor Day weekend is one of the busiest times of the year for our area and they just want to keep everyone safe.
Not only will there be more tourists in southeastern North Carolina, there will be more law enforcement too.
“We will have officers out there all day every day this weekend,” said Lieutenant Forrest Orr with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.
As the statewide campaign kicks off, enforcement officers will conduct sobriety checkpoints on the streets and on waterways.
“Our main goal is to get impaired drivers off the road and off the water [to] send a message clear that you can’t drink and drive,” said Oak Island Police Lieutenant Franklin Cooke.
Authorities said Oak Island will see a surge of visitors this weekend.
“Anytime during the summer months, between Memorial Day and Labor Day, our population can swell anywhere from 10,000 to 70 to 80,000 on a holiday weekend,” said Cooke.
Lieutenant Orr said that boating activity can double or even triple this weekend and he wants to make sure everyone on the water stays safe.
“Operator inattention is the leading cause of boating incidents and most incidents occur during the months of May, June and July, but as I mentioned this is typically the last big boating holiday of the summer,” said Orr.
So, before you grab your car keys or your life jacket — Lieutenant Orr has a message.
“If you do go out on a vessel or you’re in a vehicle, we want to encourage you to designate a driver, a sober driver, and just be safe whether you’re on the road or on the water.”
Law enforcement hopes this message will ring true this holiday weekend.
Orr said they will also be looking for boating safety equipment, like life jackets and fire extinguishers.
The campaign is called “On The Road, On The Water, Don’t Drink and Drive” and it’s in its 11th year. It’s not just during Labor Day weekend though, it also goes into effect Memorial Day and July 4th weekends.
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