Dozens of Shore Towns in DWI Crackdown
Six Ocean County law enforcement agencies, 10 each in Monmouth and Burlington and seven in Atlantic County plan to step up the watch on drunken and impaired drivers during New Jersey’s “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” crackdown that starts Friday and continues through Labor Day Weekend.
wjlAll together, 156 local police departments and county sheriff’s offices will get $4,400 shares to field extra patrols in the nationwide initiative. The grants amount to $4,400 each.
“We want to remind everyone that getting behind the wheel drunk is a terrible idea,” said Division of Highway Traffic Safety Acting Director Gary Poedubicky in a prepared release, noting that drinking impairs not only safe operation of a vehicle, but clouds judgement of whether one should be driving at all.
“If you have any doubt about your sobriety, do not get behind the wheel. If you do chose to drive impaired, you will be arrested. No warnings. No excuses.”
Ocean County agencies taking part are Toms River, Barnegat, Berkeley Township, Lakewood, Lakehurst and Manchester.
In Monmouth, police departments in Freehold Township, Neptune Township, Eatontown, Hazlet, Wall Township, Holmdel, Keansburg, Oceanport, Spring Lake Heights and Union Beach are enrolled.
Burlington County will see patrol enhancements in Mount Holly, Mount Laurel, Willingboro, Medford, Mansfield, Cinnaminson, Palmyra, New Hanover, Riverside and Westampton.
The Atlantic County Sheriff’s Office is involved, along with police in Egg Harbor Township, Absecon, Northfield, Hammonton, Galloway and Hamilton.
In Middlesex, extra patrols will be out in Old Bridge, Woodbridge, Edison, New Brunswick, North Brunswick, South Plainfield, Metuchen, Plainsboro, Dunellen, Jamesburg, and Monroe.
National data reveals that during Labor Day weekend 2011, 138 people died in car crashes involving drivers with blood alcohol content above the legal limit of .08 percent. Eighty-three percent occurred between the hours of 6 PM and 5:59 AM. Forty-two percent of drivers age 18 to 34 who died in the accidents were determined to be alcohol-impaired.
During the 2012 initative in New Jersey, there were 1,459 DWI arrests, 6,550 speeding tickets, and 4,258 citations for seat belt violations. Police issued 3,193 tickets for driving with suspended licenses, another 947 for reckless driving, and caught nearly 2,000 fugitives.
State highway safety officials again offer a checklist of options in the interest of safe late-summer travel:
Take mass transit, a taxi or ask a sober friend to drive, even if you’re only walking home but you’re drunk.
Spend the night rather than get behind the wheel.
Report impaired drivers to police. If you spot drunken or agressive drivers, hit #77 on any phone.
Use seat belts, regardless of where you’re sitting in the vehicle