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Impaired driving crackdown effective, authorities said


Law enforcement officers will be out in force this week looking for impaired drivers.


The Daily Reflector

Thursday, January 3, 2019

An effort to crack down on impaired driving around the Christmas and New Year holiday resulted in 151 arrests by the State Highway Patrol in northeast North Carolina, the patrol reported Wednesday.

The annual holiday Booze It and Lose It effort officially ended on Wednesday. Master Trooper Brad Taylor of Troop A said officers also responded to 160 reportable wrecks in Troop A between Dec. 14 and Jan. 2. Reportable wrecks are those in excess of $1,000 in damages.

More impaired drivers typically are on the road between Christmas and New Year’s celebrating the holidays with friends and family and going from party to party, Taylor said. The number of arrests made in the 20-county Troop A district is normal for the holiday season, he said.

"Troopers have done a good job getting impaired drivers off the road," he said.

Troop A is headquartered in Greenville and extends north to the Virginia line and east to the coast, including Currituck, Dare, Hyde and Cartaret councties.

In Nash County, Sheriff Keith Stone elaborated on why impaired drivers need to stay off the road, comparing the sight of a motor vehicle wreck to troops encountering improvised explosive devices.

“The most horrific damage that I’ve seen is from car wrecks,” Stone said. “In essence, you’ve got a 3,000-pound bomb going down the road. And if you’re driving 55 and you hit another car at 55, that’s a 110-mile-an-hour collision. And it causes more carnage to a body than if it was shot, stabbed or blown up by an IED.”

Stone, elected Nash’s top lawman in 2014, speaks from first-hand experience of 30 years as a state trooper, noting, “I’ve been to thousands of car wrecks and been to hundreds of fatalities.”

The state is quick to point out motorists caught driving while impaired could face jail time, lose their driving privileges and pay stiff fines, towing fees and other expenses associated with a DWI.

State Highway Patrol spokesman Mike Baker said his agency “absolutely” is concerned about the well-being of people returning this week from extended vacations.

“New Year’s and Christmas is not as heavily traveled (by motorists) as Thanksgiving because most people stay local, within 50 miles from their residence,” Baker said. “But we do anticipate a spike in travel.”

He also said driving while impaired is not all about drinking.

“While alcohol consumption is definitely something that we continue to see, impairment due to illegal or legal drugs is something that we’re seeing an increase in as well,” he said.

Baker said among young people, there’s the possibility of a greater ease of raiding their grandparents’ medicine cabinet than trying to obtain liquor in a state where store operators can’t sell alcohol to those younger than age 21.

Trooper Tommy L. Davis, who’s the patrol’s traffic safety information officer, emphasized the effect on a deceased motorist’s family members is not temporary.

“It’s forever,” he said.

Taylor said his troop investigated 326 alcohol related crashes in 2018. That’s down from 347 in 2017 but still too many. 

"Make sure you have a plan in place before going out and think of the consequences of driving while impaired, not just losing your license but the financial consequences of losing your job."

Reporters William F. West of the Rocky Mount Telegram and Tyler Stocks of The Daily Reflector contributed to this report.



Humans of Greenville


Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

Crime and Rescue

January 16, 2019

A 32-year-old man was arrested on Thursday on charges he stole nearly $500 worth of merchandise from Academy Sports, according to a case report released by the Greenville Police Department on Tuesday.

The incident took place between 3 and 3:50 p.m. at the store, 3428 S. Memorial Drive. An…

January 16, 2019

WILSON — A man accused of shooting a state trooper in Elm City made his first court appearance on Tuesday morning.

Thirty-six-year-old John David Jones stood before Wilson County District Court Judge John Britt as the charges were read aloud. Jones, clad in an orange jumpsuit, faces multiple…

20190115-105656-john david jones for online.JPG

January 16, 2019

SHARPSBURG — Sharpsburg's mayor pleaded guilty on Monday to driving while impaired in connection to his election-night arrest.

Robert L. Williams Jr. was sentenced to a day in jail, 24 hours of community service and two years probation.

Williams' blood alcohol content was .13, according to…

Williams online.jpeg

January 15, 2019

Greenville Police arrested more than a dozen people last week during an operation they named “Operation Ground Work,” which focused on following up leads developed from prior arrests, interviewing victims, reviewing evidence and conducting research using various law enforcement…


January 15, 2019

Someone forced their way into a home near Lakeforest Elementary school recently and story property valued at more than $13,000, according to a Greenville Police Department report release on Monday.

The incident took place between 8 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 21, and 10:40 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 13, in the…

January 15, 2019

A Farmville woman crossed the centerline, ran off the road and struck a telephone pole before overturning, according to a State Highway Patrol report.

The crash took place at 7:09 p.m. on Jan. 4 near Bell Arthur Road and Ballard’s Crossroads Road.

Tori Moore Strickland was traveling west on…


January 13, 2019

ASHEBORO — A man wanted for a Nov. 19 shooting death in Greenville was taken into custody on Saturday by the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office following a short chase on Interstate 73, authorities there reported.

According to a news release from the Randolph office, patrol units were…


January 13, 2019

A Greenville man with a prior DWI conviction was charged again with driving while impaired and a trooper said he had three children in the car with him at the time, according to a weekly review of Pitt County court records.

Dominic Anthony Nocerino, 31, 1795 Heber Hudson Road, was stopped at…


January 12, 2019

Over $3,000 of jewelry and electronics was stolen during a home break-in on Wednesday night, according to a case report released by the Greenville Police Department. 

The incident took place between 4 and 7 p.m. in the 100 block of Fosbury Way, the report said.

The report indicated that the…

January 12, 2019

Greenville Fire-Rescue responded to more than 365 fire and EMS calls from Jan. 3-9. Following is a breakdown:


Jan. 3

■ 1:20 a.m. — medical assist at 2632 Brookridge Circle. Cleared 2:45 a.m.

■ 2:06 a.m. — assist invalid at 1359 S.E. Greenville Blvd. Cleared 2:13 a.m.

■ 5:03 a.…

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