SPOTSWOOD, NJ - The Spotswood Police Department will be conducting the 2017 Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign along with more than 150 law enforcement agencies in the Garden State from August 18 through September 4. It's the largest drunk driving endeavor and will include advertisements, posters, banners as well as mobile video display signs statewide.
Police departments apply for and receive grants through the National Division of Highway Traffic Safety to provide extra patrols and sobriety checks during the two-week period. The SPD received a $5,500 grant along with other Middlesex County law enforcement agencies that include the Carteret, Dunellen, East Brunswick, Edison, Monroe, New Brunswick, Old Bridge, Piscataway, Plainsboro and South Brunswick Police Departments.
Last year's Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign netted 1,600 summonses. This year's drunk driving campaign will have a zero-tolerance approach according to a statement made by Gary Poedubicky. Poedubicky is the acting director of the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety.
“Despite years of enforcement and public awareness efforts, too many people still make the unfortunate decision to get behind the wheel while impaired. Nearly 30% of all motor vehicle fatalities in New Jersey are alcohol related,” said Poedubicky. “This is a zero tolerance campaign. If drivers are caught operating their vehicles while impaired, they will be arrested.”
The NJ Division of Highway Traffic Safety conducts a similar campaign during the Christmas and New Year's holiday stretch. Both holidays are considered to be among the most dangerous travel times. In 2010, 147 people were killed in drunk driving incidents across the United States during the Labor Day weekend according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Law enforcement agencies offer the following advice to residents:
- Designate a driver before you leave the house. A designated driver is someone who will not be drinking alcohol
- Take mass transit
- Call a taxi or car service
- Ask a sober friend to drive you home
- Call a family member or friend to come and pick you up
- Spend the night where the party is being held
For others traveling on the road, the best defense against an impaired driver is to use a seatbelt. Drivers and passengers in the front and back should wear their seatbelts.
Travelers can call #77 to report an impaired driver.