JAMESTOWN, N.C. — Friday was the first day of the Governor’s Highway Safety Program ‘Booze it and Lose it’ campaign.
The kickoff event was hosted in Guilford County at the Grandover Resort.
Sheriff BJ Barnes announced the creation of a new DWI task force coalition between the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office, High Point Police Department and Greensboro Police Department.
The task force is made of local law enforcement officers who will focus on getting impaired drivers off the road.
They are funded by an $800,000 state grant.
People like Becky Kennedy say the more law enforcement can do, the better.
“We fully support this,” she said.
Kennedy’s daughter, Emily Elizabeth May, was killed by a drunk driver in May of 2007.
Her family’s pain is nearly as acute now as it was five years ago.
“Emily loved to dance and sing, she was just so happy. She loved spending time with her friends and family.”
May was a bright, successful 24-year-old college graduate.
She was riding with a friend while visiting Fayetteville, North Carolina, when the driver lost control.
May was killed; the driver had been drinking underage.
“If only the girl had asked Emily to drive,” explained Kenneedy.
“Because Emily was sober.”
Kennedy said her daughter didn’t realize the driver had been drinking.
“We could always have a blast, even just having lunch together,” said Kennedy as she looked through pictures of her daughter.
Barnes said it’s stories like the Kennedy’s that inspire law enforcement officers to crack down on impaired drivers in the Triad.
“The purpose of this task foce, quite simply, is to help keep our roads safer,” he said.
“We’re gonna be out looking for this type of thing. We’re gonna try to stop this. Make their families safe, our families safe. If you drink and drive, you take the chance of going to jail, losing your car.”
As Kennedy knows all too well, jail time is really only the beginning of consequences that can result from drinking and driving.
“It can happen to you. It’s not worth it. Get a cab, call a friend, arrange for a sober ride,” she pleaded.