-- Law enforcement agencies throughout the
state will conduct saturation patrols and
sobriety checkpoints during the upcoming holiday
season as part of the “Over the Limit,
Under Arrest” year-end, drunk driving
crackdown, Division of Highway Traffic Safety
Director Pam Fischer announced today.
Between December 7, 2009 and January 3, 2010,
police agencies will participate in the national
effort designed to combat drunk driving during
one of the busiest and most dangerous travel
times of the year.
part of the initiative, which has been in
place since 1999, the Division will provide
grants of $5,000 each to 110 law enforcement
departments. However, all local police agencies
received information about the program and
have been asked to run checkpoints and patrols
over the holidays and report their results
to the Division. The New Jersey State Police
will also participate in the effort.
hoping to achieve 100 percent participation
by police agencies across the State,”
Fischer said. “Last year, 424 police
departments participated in the initiative,
up from 333 the previous year. This is a vital
law enforcement program that can save lives
during a time of the year when impaired driving
traditionally increases by nearly 10 percent.”
to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,
last year 11,773 individuals across the nation
were killed in highway crashes involving drunk
driving. In New Jersey, 165 people were killed
as a result of alcohol-related crashes on
New Jersey’s highways, representing
approximately 28 percent of the 590 traffic
fatalities reported in the State.
2009 Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind
Poll on driver behaviors, conducted in partnership
with the Division, indicated that one in five
drivers said they have consumed alcohol and
then driven, up 6 percent from the previous
year. In addition, one in five drivers believe
they can have two drinks and safely drive,
while one in 10 say they can have three or
more drinks and still be okay to get behind
the gains we've made in reducing drunk driving
related crashes, many individuals still believe
that after a few drinks, they’re safe
to drive,” Fischer said. “Even
one drink can alter your judgment and reaction
time behind the wheel, putting not only yourself,
but everyone on the road, in danger.”
Division offers the following advice to ensure
a safe and enjoyable holiday season for all
New Jerseyans and out-of-state visitors:
If you’ve consumed alcohol, even just
one drink, take mass transit, a taxi or
ask a sober friend to drive you home. Or,
spend the night.
Report impaired drivers to law enforcement.
In New Jersey, drivers may dial #77 to report
a drunk or aggressive 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 escort you safely to your doorstep.
Always buckle up, every ride, regardless
of your seating position in the vehicle.
It’s the best defense against an impaired
are also asked this holiday season to subscribe
to the pledge of the Ensign John R. Elliott
HERO Campaign for Designated Drivers: drive
sober, be a designated driver and don’t
let your 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 Elliott 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
information on the “Over the Limit,
Under Arrest” year-end crackdown is
available on the Division of Highway Traffic
Safety’s web site, at www.njsaferoads.com.
A list of police agencies receiving grants
for the mobilization can be found at www.nj.gov/oag/hts/grants/grantees.html.