Law enforcement officers from Eatontown will be cracking down on drunk drivers as part of the annual holiday season “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” statewide campaign.
Beginning Dec. 7 and running through Jan. 2, 2013, local and state law enforcement officers will conduct sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols looking for motorists who may be driving while intoxicated.
A concentrated national effort, the campaign helps 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 nationally in 1999, the program works to combat drunk driving during some of the busiest travel times of the year, including the holiday period.
“This is a critical law enforcement program that can save lives during a time of the year when impaired driving traditionally increases by nearly 10 percent,” Ptl. Anthony Guido, Traffic Safety Officer of the Eatontown Police Department said. “This initiative brings attention to the serious consequences of drunk driving and the grave danger those who choose to drink and drive pose to all who share the road with them.”
Last year in New Jersey, 152 people were killed as a result of alcohol-impaired crashes. That number represents 24 percent of the 627 traffic fatalities reported in the state in 2011. As part of the initiative, the Division of Highway Traffic Safety provides grants to local law enforcement agencies throughout the state to run the two-week campaign.
Law enforcement agencies participating in the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over 2012 Year End Crackdown offer the following advice:
- If you plan to drink, designate a driver, someone who will not drink alcohol, before going out.
- 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. In New Jersey, drivers may dial #77 to report a drunk or aggressive driver.
- 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.
Motorists are also asked to subscribe to the pledge of the Ensign John R. Elliot HERO Campaign for Designated Drivers: Drive sober, be a designated driver and don’t let friends drive drunk. Under the effort, local businesses and community groups, law enforcement agencies, and schools work together to keep drunk drivers off the road.
Started in New Jersey by the Elliot family following the tragic death of their son, John, in a head-on collision with a drunk driver, the campaign has become a national model for preventing drunk driving.