SOMERVILLE, NJ - The Somerset County Prosecutor's Office has announced that police agencies all over Somerset County, and around New Jersey, are participating in the state's largest drunk driving crackdown.
According to a release, the 2018 "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" Statewide Labor Day Crackdown begins Aug. 16 and finishes Sept. 4.
During the campaign Somerset and Hunterdon county law enforcement officers will conduct sobriety checkpoints and roving patrols that will target drivers who may be operating a vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs.
The campaign is a national one that is designed to raise awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving through high-visibility enforcement, while also being reinforced by educational activities, like radio advertisements, posters, banners and mobile display signs. According to the release, the campaign is working to curtail impaired driving during the busy summer travel season, including the Labor Day holiday period.
"Despite years of enforcement and public awareness efforts, too many people still make the unfortunate decision to get behind the wheel while impaired," Gary Poedubicky, acting director of the NJ Division of Highway Traffic Safety, said in the release. "Nearly 30 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities in New Jersey are alcohol related. This is a zero tolerance campaign. If drivers are caught operating their vehicle while impaired, they will be arrested.
Through the program, the Division of Highway Traffic Safety provides grants to local police agencies, the release said. And, in 2017, participating agencies made 1,649 DWI arrests.
Law enforcement agencies offer some advice as part of the crackdown:
- Designate a driver who will not drink alcohol if you plan to drink.
- Take mass transit, a taxi or get a ride from a sober friend.
- Spend the night where the party or activity is being held instead of driving.
- Wear your seatbelt regardless of seating position in the vehicle.
- Take a cab or have a sober friend drive you if you are traveling on foot while intoxicated.
Anyone with information pertinent to drunk driving is asked to contact local law enforcement, or make a report via the STOPit app.