Not long ago, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that the number of fatal DWI-related accidents dropped from 201 dead in 2007 to 154 in 2008 – according to the NHTSA, 2008 was the last year for which complete statistics were available. Also mentioned was the drop in drunken driving arrests, which were reduced by six percent based on data provided by the New Jersey State Police.
At that time it was suggested that these decreases may have been influenced by the stiffer penalties for motorists convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol. It’s no secret that drunk driving in the New Jersey area is a dangerous activity. Police and state law enforcement agencies continue to increase the frequency of patrols, as well as instituting sobriety checkpoints, also known as drunk driving roadblocks.
As a New Jersey DWI defense lawyer, I know how expensive a drunken driving conviction can be to a person’s bottom line. This is because the penalties for DWI in the Garden State can carry heavy fines and even jail time.
More recently, Lower Township reported a broad decline in traffic offenses and related legal cases. According to news reports, service calls declined from 39,791 to 32,030, but township officials say this was partly due to reduction in manpower.
Still, DWI arrests declined from 115 to 80. Adult arrests overall declined from 870 to 543, while juvenile arrests declined from 142 to 112. Budget problems have also affected the number of officers on patrol each day. By comparison, Lower Township has 43 officers versus 50 in Middle Township and 59 in Ocean City.
While most drivers never intend to be charged with a DWI, penalties for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol are designed to hurt one’s wallet, as well as provide jail time. Whether fewer patrolmen on the streets will have an impact on the number of drunk driving arrests going forward, the problems caused due to a drunk driving conviction can cause New Jersey drivers much more than a little inconvenience and embarrassment.
Fewer police and fewer arrests in 2009, Lower Township report shows, PressofAtlanticCity.com, February 3, 2010