UNION COUNTY, NJ — To help ensure safety on the state’s roadways, the Division of Highway Traffic Safety has announced the kickoff of a statewide traffic safety campaign targeting drunken and impaired drivers.
Law enforcement agencies across the state are now patrolling New Jersey roads looking for drunken and impaired drivers as part of the annual “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” holiday campaign, which runs through Jan. 1.
New Jersey’s campaign is part of a nationwide effort to reduce crash risks during the holiday season. To assist with New Jersey’s enforcement efforts, the division has awarded grants totaling $656,340 to 114 agencies across the state to fund enhanced patrolling and high-visibility sobriety checkpoints throughout New Jersey during the month of December.
In Union County, Linden received $8,400, Plainfield received $7,200, Roselle received $6,000 and Summit received $6,000.
“This has been a year of tremendous loss for New Jersey residents impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are all feeling especially grateful for the loved ones with us this holiday season,” New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said. “Help ensure that everyone can safely celebrate this year by driving sober and unimpaired. Drunk-driving crashes are tragic and preventable. We are stepping up patrols and enforcement to keep New Jersey roadways safe for all who use them this holiday season.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drunken-driving crashes claim the lives of more than 10,000 people nationwide each year.
Of the 559 people killed in traffic crashes in New Jersey last year, nearly a quarter of them — 129 — lost their lives in crashes involving drunken drivers.
“Our mission is to ensure that travelers on New Jersey roadways reach their destinations safely — especially during the holiday season when crash risks increase,” said Eric Heitmann, director of the Division of Highway Traffic Safety. “We pursue this mission through programs like ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ that raise public awareness of the dangers of impaired driving and provide law enforcement with funding for enhanced enforcement. This season, make sure a designated driver is part of your holiday celebration plans. Anyone driving under influence can count on encountering a law enforcement presence on the state’s roadways.”
Last year, the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” holiday campaign resulted in 1,380 driving-while-intoxicated arrests for alcohol and/or drug impairment statewide; and participating police agencies issued 4,960 and 2,023 speeding and seat belt summonses, respectively. A number of departments reported noteworthy accomplishments, including 14 agencies making 13 or more driving-while-intoxicated arrests during the campaign.
For more information, follow the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, and visit www.njsaferoads.com.