FLEMINGTON, NJ – Police here are part of a statewide traffic safety campaign targeting drunk and impaired drivers.
The program started Friday and is part of the annual “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” holiday campaign, which runs through Jan. 1, 2020.
Flemington received a $1,980 grant from the Division of Highway Traffic Safety to be part of the effort, one of 133 agencies receiving a total of $596,660 that pays “for saturation patrols and high-visibility sobriety checkpoints throughout the state,” according to a press release.
Other Hunterdon municipalities receiving grants are Clinton, $1,980; Clinton Township, $5,500; Frenchtown, $1,320; High Bridge, $1,760; Holland, $1,650; Lambertville, $1,320; Lebanon, $1,870; Tewksbury, $1,760; and West Amwell, $1,980.
Last year, 372 of the state’s police agencies participated. The 2018 enforcement effort resulted in 1,269 DWI arrests (alcohol and/or drugs) statewide; and participating police agencies issued 5,704 and 3,125 speeding and seat belt summonses, respectively. A number of departments reported noteworthy accomplishments, including 15 agencies making 14 or more DWI arrests during the campaign.
“The holidays are a time to celebrate with family and friends but if your celebration includes alcohol, leave the driving to someone else - a sober friend, a ride share, or public transportation,” said Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal. “Being a responsible driver is one of the simplest ways to ensure a safe and happy holiday season for everyone. Our Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign is aimed at raising public awareness and saving lives.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, 10,511 people were killed nationwide in drunk-driving crashes last year, a figure that represents nearly 30 percent of all fatalities recorded for that year. Last December, 839 people died in traffic crashes involving a drunk driver, and there were more drunk-driving-related fatalities during the Christmas and New Year’s Day holiday periods in 2018 alone than during any other holiday period that year.
In New Jersey alone, 125 people died in drunk-driving crashes in 2018 - more than 20 percent of all traffic fatalities recorded.
“These fatalities are preventable, and people must remember that driving under the influence of any substance, be it drugs or alcohol, is deadly, illegal, and selfish behavior,” said Eric Heitmann, Director of the NJ Division of Highway Traffic Safety. “To promote traffic safety this holiday season, law enforcement officers will be out in force looking for impaired drivers. If you drive under the influence during the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over mobilization, you can count on being stopped and arrested.”