FREEHOLD, NJ — Law enforcement throughout Monmouth County will be out in full force, "on the lookout for drunk drivers," warns Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden on this Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

"We want everyone to enjoy this wonderful holiday season, but if you are going to drink, don't drive, it's as simple as that," he said.

In an effort to avoid presenting a danger to oneself or others, Golden offers the following safety tips:

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  • Before going out, designate a driver who will not consume any alcohol the entire night.
  • Do not drive if you are impaired. Call a cab, a sober friend or family member.
  • If you don't have a ride, stay where you are. If you live nearby, do not attempt to walk or ride a bicycle home.
  • If you see someone about to get behind the wheel or on a motorcycle after they have been drinking, take their keys and find them a ride with someone who is sober.
  • Under no circumstances should adults provide alcohol to a minor or allow anyone under 21 to consume alcohol while at their home.

New Jersey State Police also encourage individuals to report any drivers posing a hazard because of poor driving behaviors. The aggressive driver tip line can be called from a hands-free mobile device by dialing #77.

Be ready to give a description of the vehicle and occupants, a location and direction, and a license plate if possible.

 

In New Jersey, an individual is considered over the legal limit if he or she operates a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level concentration of .08 or greater. In 2015, there were 522 fatal crashes on New Jersey roadways and 562 people died as a result. Of those fatalities 25.3 percent had consumed alcohol to some extent, according to the state police.

Don’t be Distracted and Drive

Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office also warns that distracted driving is especially dangerous during the holidays, or any time of year.

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, 3.477 people were killed and 391,000 injured due to distracted driving in 2015.

Texting is the most alarming distraction, according to the office. “Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for five seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed. Don’t text and drive.”

TAPinto Belmar/Lake Como is Belmar and Lake Como’s only free daily newspaper. Accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, it is a locally owned news organization serving the community. Sign up for our free daily e-News, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.