STATE POLICE AND COOPER UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL
“GOAL LINE” STAND AGAINST DRUNK DRIVING
West Trenton, New Jersey – Acting New Jersey Attorney General Paula Dow, the New Jersey State Police, Cooper University Hospital, and the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety are teaming up to remind partygoers to enjoy this Sunday’s Super Bowl festivities without getting flagged for “excessive celebration” by being charged with DWI.
New Jersey State Police Superintendent Rick Fuentes today announced the kick-off of a multi-agency traffic enforcement effort aimed at reducing the number of accident fatalities on Super Bowl weekend. The effort will consist of patrols from local and county agencies throughout the state.
According to Acting Attorney General Paula T. Dow, there is no excuse for an individual to get behind the wheel if they have been drinking alcohol.
“Many people will be attending parties at private residences or going to local bars or restaurants to watch the Super Bowl,” Acting Attorney General Dow said. “If you plan to drink alcohol, make sure you’ve taken the necessary steps before leaving home to ensure a safe return trip. That starts with designating a driver who will not be drinking. By planning ahead, you can protect yourself, your family and other motorists from tragedy on the road.”
"All star athletes and armchair quarterbacks alike, no one is immune to the dangers of driving while intoxicated," said Colonel Rick Fuentes. "The most insidious part of intoxication is the slowing down of a person's reactions well before they become obviously drunk. That lag time in reacting to danger can turn a near miss into a medevac ride to the trauma center, or worse-a trip to the morgue," added Fuentes.
Troopers will be teaming with local and county agencies to strictly enforce New Jersey’s motor vehicle laws. Particular attention will be paid to enforcing drinking and driving statutes. Patrols will utilize high visibility and zero tolerance enforcement during the Super Bowl weekend to concentrate on those behaviors that contribute to fatal accidents. Officers will focus on drowsy and inattentive drivers, noting that drowsy and inattentive driving are two of the largest contributing factors (and most under-reported)
in motor vehicle crashes. “Our mission is to ensure that a day of celebration doesn’t turn into a day of tragedy,” said Troop “A” Commander Major Lou Klock.
"Each year, Cooper University Hospital treats more than 2,500 patients in our Level 1 Trauma Center; more than half are from motor vehicle accidents," said John P. Sheridan, Jr., President and CEO at Cooper. "We are proud to partner with the State Police to send this important message, don't become one of these statistics, stay safe and don't drink and drive."
So far this year, there has been a 32 percent decrease in fatalities compared to the same period last year. Last year on Super Bowl Sunday, one person lost their life in a traffic accident.
“Despite our gains in combating drunk driving, we still have too many individuals who believe that after a few drinks, they’re safe to drive,” said Division of Highway Traffic Safety Director Pam Fischer. “Approximately 28 percent of all fatal crashes in New Jersey last year involved alcohol, while nationally alcohol was a factor in 32 percent of fatal motor vehicle crashes. Even one drink can alter your judgment and reaction time behind the wheel, putting not only yourself, but everyone on the road, in danger.”
“Everyone wants to have a good time at Super Bowl parties, but there are simple steps that must be taken in order to allow everyone to enjoy the celebration,” stated Fuentes.
- Avoid drinking too much alcohol too fast. Pace yourself - eat; take breaks, alternate with non-alcoholic drinks.
- Designate your sober driver before the party begins and give that person your vehicle keys.
- If impaired, don’t even think about getting behind the wheel. Ask a sober friend for a ride home; call a cab, friend or family member to come and get you; or stay where you are and sleep it off until you are sober.
- Remember, Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk. Take the keys and never let a friend leave your sight if you think they are about to drive while impaired.
If you are hosting a Super Bowl Party:
- Serve lots of food - particularly high-protein dishes - and be sure to include lots of non-alcoholic beverages.
- Stop serving alcohol at the end of the third quarter of the game - begin serving coffee and dessert.
- Be sure all of your guests designate their drivers in advance, or help arrange ride sharing with sober drivers.
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