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Operation Firecracker issued 79 charges, 7 warrants in Wilmington leading into July 4th weekend

WPD MLK traffic stop operation firecracker.png
The Wilmington Police Department and other agencies operated a traffic checkpoint going into the July 4th weekend.

According to the Wilmington Police Department, a multi-agency checkpoint on Friday night issued 79 charges and served 7 warrants.

For dozens of drivers, this past holiday weekend ended before it really began when they ran afoul of a sobriety checkpoint.

The checkpoint, dubbed Operation Firecracker, was conducted on Friday evening on Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway by WPD’s traffic unit, Jacksonville police department, state highway patrol, and the Brunswick, New Hanover, and Pender county Sheriff’s offices.

The most common charges were expired inspections or registrations and not having a valid driver’s license or insurance. Officers also made 16 DWI or alcohol-related charges, 7 drug or paraphernalia-related charges, and two concealed weapon charges.

The Supreme Court upheld police sobriety checkpoints as constitutional against a Fourth-Amendment challenge in 1990. The use of checkpoints is expressly authorized by North Carolina law, and state case law has be interpreted — including by the UNC School of Government — as allowing officers to pursue and stop drivers who avoid checkpoints under many circumstances, even those drivers who obey all posted traffic laws while doing so.

Full list of charges:

  • DWI- 7
  • DWI under 21- 2
  • Aid and Abet DWI- 2
  • No Operators License- 11
  • Driving While License Revoked- 6
  • Expired Registration- 12
  • Expired Inspection- 7
  • Child Restraint Violation- 2
  • Seat Belt Violation- 6
  • Window Tint- 1
  • No insurance- 3
  • Improper Muffler- 1
  • Open Container- 5
  • Possess Sch VI- 5
  • Felony Possess Sch VI- 2
  • Possess Drug Paraphernalia- 3
  • Possess with Intent to Sell and Deliver Sch VI- 1
  • Maintain a Vehicle for Controlled Substance- 1
  • Carrying a Concealed Weapon: 2