NEW JERSEY – To help ensure safety on the State’s roadways, the Division of Highway Traffic Safety (“the Division”) Friday announced the kick-off of a statewide traffic safety campaign targeting drunk and impaired drivers.
Starting Dec. 4, law enforcement agencies across the state will be patrolling New Jersey roads looking for drunk and impaired drivers as part of the annual “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” holiday campaign, which runs through January 1, 2021.
New Jersey’s campaign is part of a nationwide effort to reduce crash risks during the holiday season. To assist with New Jersey’s enforcement efforts, the Division has awarded grants totaling $656,340 to 114 agencies across the state to fund enhanced patrolling and high-visibility sobriety checkpoints throughout New Jersey during the month of December.
“This has been a year of tremendous loss for New Jersey residents impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and we are all feeling especially grateful for the loved ones with us this holiday season,” said Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal. “Help ensure that everyone can safely celebrate this year by driving sober and unimpaired. Drunk driving crashes are tragic and preventable. We are stepping up patrols and enforcement to keep New Jersey roadways safe for all who use them this holiday season.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”), drunk driving crashes claim the lives of more than 10,000 people nationwide each year.
Of the 559 people killed in traffic crashes in New Jersey last year, nearly a quarter of them – 129 – lost their lives in crashes involving drunk drivers.
“Our mission is to ensure that travelers on New Jersey roadways reach their destinations safely – especially during the holiday season when crash risks increase,” said Eric Heitmann, Director of Division of Highway Traffic Safety. “We pursue this mission through programs like Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over that raise public awareness of the dangers of impaired driving and provide law enforcement with funding for enhanced enforcement. This season, make sure a designated driver is part of your holiday celebration plans. Anyone driving under influence can count on encountering a law enforcement presence on the State’s roadways.”
Last year, the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over holiday campaign resulted in 1,380 DWI arrests (alcohol and/or drugs) statewide; and participating police agencies issued 4,960 and 2,023 speeding and seat belt summonses, respectively. A number of departments reported noteworthy accomplishments, including 14 agencies making 13 or more DWI arrests during the campaign.
To view the Drive Sober holiday 2020 grant list, click here.