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‘Booze It & Lose It’ Campaign Upgrades to be Implemented Statewide

​RALEIGH - The N.C. Governor’s Highway Safety Program and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) announced today the success of a pilot project to reduce impaired driving.​

The yearlong campaign, which was tested across a seven-county region in western North Carolina, will be integrated into the statewide “Booze It & Lose It” campaign in the coming months.

“We knew it was time to update our 25-year-old ‘Booze It & Lose It’ campaign with new ideas, and western North Carolina embraced the opportunity to test those ideas last year,” said GHSP Director Mark Ezzell. “As a result, we’ve seen notable decreases in impaired driving-related crashes and serious injuries.”

The number of alcohol-related crashes in the seven-county region totaled 277 in 2023. That’s down 7% over the prior year, when there were 298 such crashes in the same region.

The pilot project included new tools, updated training programs for law enforcement and court officials, enhanced communications such as a new logo and advertising campaign, and innovative partnerships with universities and business groups such as Western Carolina University and the Main Street Sylva Association.

Perhaps the program’s greatest success was expanded use of Continuous Alcohol Monitoring ankle bracelets for select driving while impaired offenders. The bracelet detects any alcohol use by the offender, and that violation is reported immediately to court officials. Of the 55 people who wore the bracelets during a 90-day period, only one was flagged for consuming alcohol. The N.C. Conference of District Attorneys helped fund these bracelets, and District Attorney Ashley Welch has been very pleased with the results.

“For me, the project’s big takeaway is how using CAM bracelets can help reduce re-offense,” said District Attorney Welch. “I was surprised by how successful these bracelets can be in getting folks on the path to sobriety. If we can do that, we can really help save lives in North Carolina.”


3/1/2024 11:42 AM