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OFFICIAL NEWS RELEASE

 
 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Gary Myerovich (DHTS) 609-633-8727
Captain Al Della Fave, (NJSP) 609-882-2000 x6514

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November 23, 2005


 
 
Law Enforcement to Crackdown on Impaired Drivers in
Holiday You Drink and Drive. You Lose' Blitz

(Trenton) - No impaired driver should feel safe from the eyes of law enforcement in New Jersey , as police gear up for a continued year-end crackdown. The holiday season between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is one of the deadliest and most dangerous times of the year due to an increase in drunk driving. The Division of Highway Traffic Safety has issued enforcement grants to approximately forty police departments centered in Bergen , Essex , Middlesex, and Monmouth counties, along with one department each in Ocean and Union counties. The crackdown will run from December 5, 2005 to January 4, 2006 . However, police agencies statewide have already beefed up their forces for the deadly holiday period.

Last year, 270 of the 731 motor vehicle fatalities in New Jersey were alcohol-related. That comprises 37% of the total number of deaths. Nationally, impaired drivers kill over 17,000 people each year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says 97% of Americans view drinking and driving by others as a threat to their families and themselves and they support tougher enforcement.

“ New Jersey wishes its residents and visitors a happy and safe holiday season,” said Acting Governor Richard J. Codey. “We have the power to make this holiday season a safer one by following a simple and well-known rule; don’t drink and drive.”

“During the holidays, our goal is to make sure that you continue to live so that you can enjoy more celebrations with your family. Alcohol will be consumed at holiday celebrations and office parties, and you must designate a sober driver before the parties begin. Otherwise, you are putting your life and safety in jeopardy, and risking a DUI prosecution. Please don’t drink and drive.”

“Driving impaired is serious and it’s against the law,” said Division Director Roberto Rodriguez. “Law enforcement will show zero tolerance and violators will be spending their money on bail, court, lawyers and towing fees instead of buying holiday presents. Being involved in an alcohol-related crash can lead to tragedy, serious legal issues and towering medical bills.”

“Every year we talk about the increased police enforcement, the extra patrols looking for aggressive, drunk and drowsy drivers...and that is all true for this year,” said Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “But we want drivers to take responsibility for their own safety on the roads of New Jersey . The best holiday travel season is assured when drivers take matters into their own hands to prevent crashes,” said Fuentes.

Colonel Fuentes has some common sense guidelines to help motorists make their trips safe: Leave a little early to avoid frustrations if you hit traffic delays. Get enough rest before you drive. Pull into a rest area to nap if you need to. Check your vehicle’s tires, lamps and wipers to ensure they are serviceable. Make sure you have the basic safety items such as a jack, a good spare tire, a flashlight and reflectors. Maintain a safe distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you, and obey all traffic laws.

The Division of Highway Traffic Safety has the following tips for drivers:

  • Choose a designated driver. If you're impaired, call a sober friend or family member to get you home safely
  • If available, use your community's Sober Rides program
  • Spend the night where the activity is being held and sleep it off
  • Report impaired drivers to law enforcement
  • Always buckle up - it's your best defense against an impaired driver

Remember, the holidays should be a time of joy. Don't destroy them by driving drunk. Law enforcement statewide is watching for impaired drivers.

List of Grantees for Year-End ‘You Drink and Drive. You Lose’

Bergen County:

Bogota PD
Englewood PD
Fair Lawn PD
Hasbrouk Heights PD
Leonia PD
Mahwah PD
North Arlignton PD
Palisades Park PD
Woodcliff Lake PD
Wood Ridge PD

Essex County:

Belleville PD
Cedar Grove PD
Essex Fells PD
Fairfield PD
Millburn PD
Montclair PD
Newark PD
North Caldwell PD
South Orange PD
West Caldwell PD

Middlesex County:

Edison PD
Highland Park PD
Metuchen PD
Middlesex Boro PD
Monroe PD
North Brunswick PD
Perth Amboy PD
Plainsboro PD
Piscataway PD
Sayreville PD
South River PD

Monmouth County:

Asbury Park PD
Atlantic Highlands PD
Hazlet PD
Holmdel PD
Howell PD
Middletown PD
Neptune Twp PD
Red Bank PD

Ocean County:

Jackson Twp PD

Union County:

Rahway PD

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