By Ron Gallagher The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)

RALEIGH, N.C. — The North Carolina State Highway Patrol is unveiling its newest weapon against drunk drivers: the Ghost Patrol Car.

The special Dodge Chargers are mostly black, with the “state trooper” logo on the sides, hood and trunk. And they glow in the dark.

The Highway Patrol hopes the cars will help raise awareness of impaired driving. They are one way to “keep the conversation going” about the need to keep impaired drivers off the roads, said patrol spokesman Sgt. Chris Knox.

Each of the patrol’s eight troops will be assigned one Ghost car, Col. Glenn McNeill said in a statement. The first one was given to Trooper J.A. Thomas, who is assigned to Vance County, northeast of Raleigh in Troop C. Interstate 85 crosses the county.

Thomas has led law enforcement officers in the state in investigations and arrests of impaired drivers for the past four years, McNeill said.

The car assignment is pleasant recognition, but, “If I saved one life, it’s a greater reward in the community” than getting the first Ghost, Thomas said in the announcement video that the agency posted on its Facebook page.

The cars have V-8 engines and all-wheel drive, like the patrol’s other Dodge Chargers. Knox said the cars are consider marked, although it is less obvious in daylight and the decals reflect light differently at night.

©2018 The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)

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