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Originally published: 2013-03-22 09:42:57
Last modified: 2013-03-22 09:42:57

Our View: To keep your Irish eyes smiling: Don't drink and drive

If you make the poor choice to drink and drive this St. Patrick's Day weekend, and the only result is that you end up seeing green -- as in the green a drunk driving arrest will cost you -- you'll be one of the lucky few.

You'll be lucky because the reality is that drunk driving can cost much more than fines, attorney fees and court charges. It could cost you or another driver, and your passengers, a life.

Because those costs can be so high, the Governor's Highway Safety Program today kicks off  its St. Patrick's Day "Booze It & Lose It" campaign. Now through Sunday, thousands of stepped-up patrols and checkpoints will be conducted throughout the state and in the High Country.

Those checkpoints and patrols resulted in 819 driving while impaired charges during a similar campaign in 2012. And this year, officers will add a new tool to their antidrunk driving arsenal.

This year, the N.C. Department of Transportation will unveil its new BATMobile -- a mobile breath-alcohol testing unit. In the BATMobile, DWIs can be immediately processed. The 40-foot-long unit will feature two magistrate stations, a full office and surveillance cameras. It includes six stations where field law enforcement officers can perform breath concentration tests.

This year, if you booze it, you lose it faster than ever. Don't depend on good luck to get you through -- if you drink, drink responsibly and stay off of the road.