FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, NJ — If you plan to catch a buzz, plan to catch a ride. Otherwise, you could end up in cuffs.
That's especially true from Aug. 18 through Sept. 4 in Franklin, where township police are taking part in the national 2017 Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, a crackdown on drunk driving around Labor Day.
Cops intend to post sobriety checkpoints and conduct “roving patrols” geared toward drivers who might be drunk or high, according to an announcement from the Somerset County Prosecutor's office.
“Despite years of enforcement and public awareness efforts, too many people still make the unfortunate decision to get behind the wheel while impaired,” the acting director of the state Division of Highway Traffic Safety, Gary Poedubicky, said in a statement. “This is a zero-tolerance campaign. If drivers are caught operating their vehicle while impaired, they will be arrested.”
Poedubicky noted that almost 30 percent of motor vehicle deaths are related to booze.
The campaign also aims to boost public awareness, according to the release. Cops do that through “high-visibility enforcement” and educational outreach, like radio and TV ads, posters and mobile video displays.
The hope is that it will help cut down on intoxicated driving during the busy holiday season.
The state highway safety division provides grants to local police departments to fuel the two-week initiative, according to the release.
In 2016, the crackdown yielded 1,649 drunk-driving arrests across New Jersey, according to the state.
Police suggest drinkers find a designated driver, take public transit or a taxi home, crash at the party or, if traveling on foot, instead consider calling a cab or friend.
Everyone, cops said, should wear a seat belt.
“It's your best defense against an impaired driver,” police said in the press release.
As part of the initiative, the Division of Highway Traffic Safety provides grants to municipal police agencies throughout the state to conduct the two-week campaign. During last year’s crackdown, participating agencies made 1,649 DWI arrests.
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