WESTFIELD, NJ — Holiday season is also drunk-driving season, and the Westfield Police Department plans to meet the issue head on with aggressive enforcement on the roads from now until Jan. 1.
It’s part of the state-wide Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign to prevent deaths that come with drinking and driving this time of year. In addition to increased police patrols, the Westfield PD will set up a DWI checkpoint on Saturday, Dec. 28, during the late evening and early morning hours. The checkpoint is being considered for one or more of the following locations: Central Avenue, East Broad Street, North Avenue, South Avenue and Springfield Avenue.
“We pledge to keep the roadways safe for all those that travel through Westfield,” said Police Chief David Wayman.
Westfield police plan to be highly visible. If officers suspect anyone is driving while intoxicated, they will show zero tolerance for drunk driving, Wayman said.
What happens when you’re arrested for drunk driving? Jail time, loss of your driver’s license, higher insurance rates and attorney fees are among the consequences, said Wayman. You and your neighbors will also find your name in the police blotter.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 32,367 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes across the nation in 2011, and 31 percent (9,878) of those fatalities occurred in drunk-driving-related crashes. Nationally, in the month of December from 2007 to 2011, there were 4,169 people killed in crashes involving drivers with blood alcohol concentrations of .08 grams per deciliter or higher.
Chief Wayman and the Westfield Police Department offered these tips to keep the holidays happy and safe:
If you will be drinking, do not plan on driving. Plan ahead and designate a sober driver before the party begins.
If you have been drinking, do not drive. Call a taxi, phone a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation.
Be responsible. If someone you know is drinking, do not let that person get behind the wheel.
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.
Remember, it is never safe to drink and drive. Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.