HACKENSACK, N.J. -- Motorists should think twice before drinking and driving this holiday season.

City law enforcement officials will be cracking down on drivers impaired by alcohol or drugs as part of the annual “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” statewide, end-of-year campaign. Beginning December 4 and continuing through New Year's Day, local and state law enforcement officials will conduct saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints looking for motorists who may be driving while intoxicated.

The national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over effort endeavors to raise awareness about the dangers of impaired driving through a combination of high-visibility enforcement and public education. During the last five years, New Jersey has experienced more than 36,000 alcohol-involved crashes resulting in 648 fatalities, according to local officials. This critical law enforcement program can save lives during a time of the year when social gatherings with alcohol increase the risk of impaired driving.

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Last year, 22% of all motor vehicle fatalities in New Jersey were alcohol-related. Nationally, 10,511 people died in 2018 in drunk driving crashes. The societal cost associated with these crashes is estimated to be $44 billion annually.

Law enforcement agencies participating in the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over 2020 Year End Holiday Crackdown offer the following advice for the holiday season:

  • Take mass transit, a taxicab, or ask a sober friend to drive you home;
  • Spend the night where the activity or party is held;
  • If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact law enforcement. Your actions may save someone's life, and inaction could cost a life;
  • Buckle-up. It's your best defense against an impaired driver;
  • If you are intoxicated and traveling on foot, the safest way to get home is to take a cab or have a sober friend or family member drive or escort you to your doorstep;
  • Be responsible. If someone you know is drinking, do not let that person get behind the wheel.