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For Immediate Release:  
For Further Information Contact:
November 23, 2005

Office of The Attorney General
- Peter C. Harvey, Attorney General
Division of Highway Traffic Safety
- Roberto Rodriguez, Director

 

Gary Myerovich
609-633-8727
Captain Al Della Fave
609-882-2000 ext.6514

 
Law Enforcement to Crackdown on Impaired Drivers in
Holiday ‘You Drink and Drive. You Lose’ Blitz
>> List of Grantees for Holiday Crackdown

(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.

“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 Arlington 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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