Onslow County Sheriff’s Office reaches 1,000 arrests for impaired driving

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JACKSONVILLE, N.C. — On December 31, 2021, the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office Driving While Impaired Task Force reached a milestone by charging their 1,000th impaired driving offense.

The DWI Task Force entered its fourth year of operation in October 2021. The unit began in October 2018 and was tasked to eliminate the problem of impaired driving within Onslow County. The DWI Task Force is a four-year project consisting of a partnership between the Onslow County Sheriff’s Office and the NC Governor’s Highway Safety Program (NC GHSP). 

The NC GHSP has reimbursed nearly the entire cost of the project, including equipment, patrol vehicles and salaries for the unit, in excess of half a million dollars. The unit consists of four deputies who are assigned to work nights and weekends to increase high-visibility engagement and education on traffic safety and specifically impaired driving.

The unit has recorded an increase of impaired driving arrests since its inception. Sgt. Thomas Marshburn, DWI Task Force supervisors, says this increase is mostly related to deputies having greater training and experience in detecting impaired drivers. For decades the sheriff’s office was not the leading traffic enforcement in Onslow County. Sheriff Miller changed all that by inspiring deputies to be more proactive. The sheriff’s office policy is to keep roadways safe for all people.

“The numbers speak for themselves; the DWI Task Force has been instrumental in reducing the impaired driving problem that plagues Onslow County. Onslow County went from being the 8th worst county in the state for alcohol-related fatalities to being the 22nd. I could not be prouder of the members of the task force for all their hard work and sacrifice for our community,” said Onslow County Sheriff Hans Miller.

Below is a table showing the crash statistics and ranking for Onslow County. The data was received from the NC Governor’s Highway Safety Program.

                                                 Before Task Force                                              Year Four

                                                 State                                                                State
                                               Ranking          Average                                 Ranking          Average

Fatalities                                    23                    15                                          20.2                   26

A-R Fatals                                   8                     8.4                                         22                      6

A-R Fatal Crashes                      6                     9.8                                          16                    5.8

A-R Serious Injuries                  4                    18.4                                        11                   16.6

A-R Crashes                               8                    249                                         12                 227.2

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