OCEAN COUNTY – We all know the phrase by now: “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”
In an effort to crack down on drunk and impaired drivers with the national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” initiative, the Division of Highway Traffic Safety awarded grants totaling more than $540,000 to local law enforcement agencies throughout the state.
One hundred and ten law enforcement agencies in NJ received funds to staff saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints during the campaign, which runs from August 16 through September 3.
In Ocean County, three $5,500 grants were awarded to Berkeley Township, Jackson Township and Seaside Heights. In Monmouth County, five $5,500 grants were awarded to Allentown, Brielle, Eatontown, Middletown, and Howell.
More than 300 additional agencies, including the New Jersey State Police, are expected to join the annual statewide traffic safety effort aimed at reducing highway crashes.
“The risks of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol are enormous and the consequences are tragic,” said Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal. “With rideshare apps and other forms of public transportation readily available, there’s no excuse for anyone to get behind the wheel impaired.”
Statistics show that in 2017, driving while under the influence of either alcohol or drugs was a contributing factor in more than 25 percent of the 591 fatal crashes that occurred on New Jersey roadways. Those 158 alcohol/drug-related crashes killed 174 people.
During a five-year period between 2013 and 2017, 678 individuals were killed in alcohol-related crashes in the state.
“Impaired driving remains one of the biggest traffic safety threats in New Jersey and combatting it is a year-round priority in our state,” said Eric Heitmann, Director of the Division of Highway Traffic Safety. “As we head into the final weeks of summer and the busy Labor Day driving weekend, our officers will be stepping up those efforts, working longer hours and increasing sobriety checks to keep intoxicated drivers off the road. If you’re out there driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the odds are we’re going to stop you and arrest you.”
Last year, the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign yielded over 1,196 impaired driving arrests, 4,764 speeding summonses, and 3,194 seat belt citations.