RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — During a St. Patrick’s Day weekend crackdown on driving while impaired, authorities in Wake County arrested nearly three dozen drivers on DWI charges.
Various police departments, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol and the Wake County Sheriff’s Office arrested 33 people on DWI charges from Friday around 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday, according to the Wake County City/County Bureau of Identification.
The State Highway Patrol had the most arrests with 14, while Raleigh police pulled over eight DWI offenders, according to arrest records.
Cary had four DWI arrests while Apex police nabbed three DWI offenders.
Holly Springs, Rolesville, Zebulon and the sheriff’s office each had one arrest.
By a large margin, most of the DWI offenders were men — with just nine women and 24 men — facing DWI charges in Wake County over the weekend.
The number of arrests in less than two days is a larger figure than seven years ago. Over a five-day period in 2016 in Wake County, there were 34 DWI arrests as authorities conducted a St. Patrick’s “Booze It and Lose It” campaign.
Leading into the weekend, law enforcement agencies across the state said last week they were ramping up patrols during St. Patrick’s Day week.
Data from the North Carolina Department of Transportation shows Wake County had the most alcohol-related traffic crashes in the state last year.
Wake County reported 1,082 total alcohol-related crashes with 37 fatalities in 2022. Meanwhile, Mecklenburg County had 1,032 alcohol-related crashes with 57 fatalities.
Wake County Sheriff’s Deputy Beckley Vaughan said enforcement is not just about finding drunk drivers, but also noticing the signs of other types of impairment.
“We’re getting an awful lot of drivers that are impaired on drugs, whether they’re prescribed drugs or illegal narcotics,” Vaughan said. “A lot of those types of crashes, especially the fatal crashes, will live with the families forever.”