Police agencies from around New Jersey are gearing up for the state’s largest annual drunk driving crackdown.
The 2019 “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” Statewide Labor Day Crackdown begins August 16 and concludes on September 2. During the campaign, local and state law enforcement officers will conduct sobriety checkpoints and roving patrols targeting motorists who may be driving while impaired by alcohol or drug.
One hundred and ten law enforcement agencies across New Jersey received funds to staff saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints during the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, which runs from August 16 through September 3. More than 300 additional agencies, including the New Jersey State Police, are expected to join the annual statewide traffic safety effort aimed at reducing highway crashes.
The Division of Highway Traffic Safety announced grants totaling more than $540,000 that will be used by local law enforcement agencies to crack down on drunk and impaired drivers as part of the national initiative, “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”
“The risks of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol are enormous and the consequences are tragic,” said Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal. “With rideshare apps and other forms of public transportation readily available, there’s no excuse for anyone to get behind the wheel impaired.”
“Impaired driving remains one of the biggest traffic safety threats in New Jersey and combatting it is a year-round priority in our state,” said Eric Heitmann, Director of the Division of Highway Traffic Safety. “As we head into the final weeks of summer and the busy Labor Day driving weekend, our officers will be stepping up those efforts, working longer hours and increasing sobriety checks to keep intoxicated drivers off the road. If you’re out there driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the odds are we’re going to stop you and arrest you.”
During the past five years, New Jersey’s roadways experienced 36,778 crashes and 679 fatalities involving impaired drivers.
Last year, law enforcement agencies statewide dedicated an estimated 6,200 total enforcement hours to the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, including 20 fixed sobriety checkpoints. During the 3-week initiative, more than 1,196 impaired driving arrests were made and an additional 4,764 speeding summonses and 3,194 seat belt citations were written.
Law enforcement agencies participating in the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over 2019 crackdown offer the following advice:
•If you plan to drink, designate a driver, someone who will not drink alcohol, before going out.
•Take mass transit, a taxi or ask a sober friend to drive you home.
•Spend the night where the activity is held.
•Always buckle up, every ride, regardless of your seating position in the vehicle. It’s your best defense against an impaired driver.
•If you’re intoxicated and traveling on foot, the safest way to get home is to take a cab or have a sober friend or family member drive you to your doorstep.