CAMDEN, NJ — The next few weeks will see an uptick in police presence across the country aimed at removing impaired drivers from the roads.
The 2019 “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign begins Friday and runs through Monday, Sept. 2, and the Camden County Police Department is joining law enforcement agencies statewide in the Labor Day crackdown.
Officers will conduct sobriety checkpoints and patrols will increase to target motorists who may be driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Each year, the national campaign raises awareness about the dangers of drunk driving, which takes the lives of more than 10,000 people annually on average, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Over the past five years in New Jersey, there have been more than 36,000 motor vehicle crashes involving impaired drivers resulting in 679 deaths.
As part of the initiative, the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety provides grants to local police agencies to run the campaign. The HTS announced last week more than $540,000 in funding to 110 police departments across the state.
During last year’s crackdown, participating state agencies made 1,196 DUI arrests.
“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, in a statement.
“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," he said.