PUBLIC SAFETY: A total of 23 law enforcement agencies in Bergen County are receiving $5,000 each from the state to conduct a “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, beginning this Friday and running through Sept. 1, in the public safety ramp-up to Labor Day.
Local and state police will conduct sobriety checkpoints and roving patrols, looking for motorists who may be driving while intoxicated.
“Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” is a national campaign designed to raise awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving through high-visibility enforcement and public education tools, including posters, banners and mobile video display signs.
Launched across the U.S. in 1999, the program works to combat drunk driving during the busy summer travel season, including the Labor Day holiday period.
In 2013 alcohol-impaired fatalities accounted for 22 percent of New Jersey’s motor vehicle fatalities.
“Many people believe that even after having a few drinks, they can still drive. One’s judgment is among the first things to be affected after consuming alcohol,” said Gary Poedubicky, the Division of Highway Traffic Safety acting director. “Whether you’re operating a car, truck, SUV or motorcycle, even one drink can impair judgment and reaction time, creating a potentially dangerous situation for everyone on the road.”
Penalties for a first DWI arrest can include fines of up to $500, 30 days in jail, a one-year driver’s license suspension and court costs.
Successive DWI arrests carry stiffer penalties.
During last year’s crackdown, law enforcement made 1,365 DWI arrests statewide. They also issued citations for speeding (5,710), seatbelt violations (4,153), driving with a suspended license (3,563) and reckless driving (936).
An added bonus: Nearly 1,800 fugitives were caught.
The state is providing grants to 200 local law enforcement agencies throughout the state to run the two-week campaign that begins Friday.
Those agencies receiving grants in Bergen:
Upper Saddle River
Palisades Interstate Parkway Police
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- If you plan to drink, designate a driver before you go out who will not drink alcohol;
- Take mass transit, a taxi or ask a sober friend to drive you home;
- Spend the night where the activity is held;
- Report impaired drivers to law enforcement (dial #77);
- Always buckle up, every ride, regardless of your seating position in the vehicle. It’s your best defense against an impaired driver;
- If you’re 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 you to your doorstep.
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