Citation numbers released for Halloween ‘12

Seventy-five persons were cited and/or arrested, with a total of 103 charges occurring during the Alcohol Law Enforcement’s Halloween operation, according to numbers released yesterday.

The highest totals of violations were alcohol-related and included underage possession of an alcoholic beverage (40), underage consumption of alcohol (22) and open container (11).

Alcohol Law Enforcement worked in conjunction with the Greenville Police Department to help patrol and secure the city during the night. Sgt. Joe Friday of the Greenville Police said the night went very well and better than previous years.

“As people know, we plan for the biggest crowds and worst scenarios,” said Sgt. Friday. “We hope for the best and plan for the worst.”

He said downtown numbers were lower this year than previous years. He attributes this to the fact that the holiday falls in the middle of the week and students are taking advantage of alternate, alcohol-free ways to celebrate Halloween.

“Events that were held at Mendenhall impacted numbers downtown, and [Midnight Madness] provided an outlet for students who did not want to go downtown,” said Sgt. Friday.

He praised the celebration, saying he is thankful people found safe ways to enjoy the event.

“I think students are getting tired of downtown and the atmosphere that Halloween has sort of been,” he said. “People are slowly migrating away from downtown.”

Sgt. Friday said he appreciated the fact that students were so cooperative during Halloween night, which included added security measures. Patrons were required to go through a security checkpoint before entering the downtown area, which was blocked off by barricades and patrolled by officers.

“I’ve encountered people who have had a good attitude and enjoyed the night for what it is and not let it get out of hand,” he said.

The added security during the Halloween operation deterred some students from going downtown.

Reed Boyce, a freshman special education major, said this was one reason she did not want to go downtown.

“It’s my first year, but I’ve heard a lot of stories from last year,” said Boyce. “It made me not want to go.”

Junior middle grades education major, Tyler Hartsgrove, said he appreciates the added security, because he feels that it helps protect people.

Numbers were also released yesterday for North Carolina’s “Booze It & Lose It” Halloween campaign, which ran Oct. 26-31. According to numbers released by Transportation Secretary Gene Conti, 729 motorists were cited by officers for driving while impaired. During the campaign, which is part of the Governor’s Highway Safety Program, 24,363 traffic and criminal citations were issued statewide, with 552 of those violations occurring in Pitt County.

In Pitt County, 12 checkpoints were set up during the operation and 33 extra patrols were out during this time. Thirty-one drivers were charged with Driving While Intoxicated, 17 under the age of 21. There were also 52 criminal violations, 50 occupant restraint charges, including safety belt and child passenger violations and 420 other traffic violations.

“Thanks to law enforcement officers from across the state enforcing our laws during this campaign, countless lives were saved,” said Conti in a press release.

Counties with the highest numbers of DWI citations included Mecklenburg (47), Wake (47), Brunswick (35) and Guilford (32).

This writer can be contacted at news@theeastcarolinian.com.

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