Jacksonville, N.C. --
Dozens of state troopers, local police and Marines from the Provost Marshal’s Office gathered June 24 at Jacksonville Commons Recreation Center to kickoff Operation Firecracker which is part of the Booze it and Lose It campaign.
The Booze it and Lose It campaign started 20 years ago to raise awareness of drunk and impaired driving to prevent impaired driving related fatalities.
"As a young Marine officer I learned that there is a couple ways you can protect your force," said Lt. Col. Eric Young, military police officer with PMO. "One is a layered defense and what you see up here today is a layered defense that not only protects our base, but protects our community and everyone across Onslow County."
The state of North Carolina, including the Jacksonville Police Department and PMO are all taking a stand against impaired driving to ensure that our roads are safe during the upcoming July 4 holiday weekend.
"North Carolina is a vision zero state," said Don Nail, director of North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program. "(The initiative) is a goal to drop the number of traffic fatalities and serious injuries to zero."
Nearly 8,500 people have lost their lives in alcohol-related crashes in North Carolina since the beginning of the campaign according to the campaigns website ncdot.gov.
"Over the last 10 years, we’ve had 150 days or 4 percent of those days where we have had no fatalities in North Carolina," said Nail. "That’s encouraging news but we’ve still got a long way to go to get to our goal."
North Carolina had 339 alcohol-related fatalities in 2015.
"We would be ecstatic if we were able to go out in force and not pull over one drunk driver," said Young. "That would be the objective; we know we would be successful if we got left of the situation by not only educating our young Marines but the entire community to make the right decision."