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Operation Firecracker: Anti-drunk driving campaign kicks off ahead of July 4th holiday

Starting June 29, North Carolina drivers will see more law enforcement officers patrolling the roads for drunk drivers.

RALEIGH, N.C. — From June 29 to July 5, more than 500 law enforcement agencies will be cracking down on drunk driving. It's part of the state's annual Fourth of July anti-drunk driving campaign called 'Operation Firecracker.' 

This year, the Governor’s Highway Safety Program says it is encouraging everyone to support sober driving by putting the message #KeysFreeNC in chalk on their car windows. 

“We’ve seen drivers mark special occasions like birthdays and graduations by displaying messages in window chalk on their vehicles,” said Governor’s Highway Safety Program Director Mark Ezzell. “This season when drunk driving is historically high due to summer traveling and the 4th of July holiday, we need everyone who can operate a vehicle to take part in this campaign to help stop impaired driving.

The campaign kicks off at the main entrance of Marine Corp Air Station Cherry Point with a community drive-through event.

NCGHSP has recruited area law enforcement agencies, military, state highway patrol, Breath Alcohol Testing (BAT) mobile workers and firefighters to flank the entrance to the installation in a show of support for the cause.

“MCASCP is ground zero of this year’s campaign and Monday’s kick-off event will be the kindling we hope will catch fire everywhere,” said Mikel Huber, base commander Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point. “We want to see every motorist that’s committed to driving sober encouraging others to do the same.”

The NCGHSP will also use social media to encourage everyone to drive sober during the holiday week and release a video via YouTube that will include messaging from law enforcement, clergy, military and the governor’s office.

“We’re all in this together. If one person drives impaired it puts our economic, cultural, social and mortal vitality at risk,” said Craven County Sheriff Chip Hughes.

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