Bergen County News: Saddle Brook Police Department begin Enhanced Summer Drunken Driving Enforcement

For anyone who hasn’t already noticed an increased police presence on New Jersey roadways this summer, it’s that time again for stepped up drunken driving enforcement throughout the Garden State. What this means is that towns like Saddle Brook, NJ, will have their police officers working diligently to pickup motorists suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol, doctor-prescribed medications and even illicit drugs like marijuana and cocaine.

As drunken driving defense lawyers representing Garden State residents against charges of impaired driving, breath test refusal and possession of controlled dangerous substances in their vehicle, I and my colleagues understand the many and varied ways that a driver can be stopped and arrested for DWI and drug DUI. With the warm weather upon us and college students home for summer break, it’s a foregone conclusion that drunken driving arrests will be on the increase throughout New Jersey counties, such as Mercer, Hudson, Essex and Ocean.

According to news articles, police departments in many towns and municipalities will be steeping up their anti-drunken driving patrols. Actually, these latest push is tied to the so-called “101 Days of Summer” DWI campaign in which increased police patrols (sometimes known as saturation patrols) will be used in an attempt to counteract the swelling of New Jersey’s summertime population.

Police departments across the state will be carrying out similar efforts to the one detailed in a news article about the Saddle Brook Police Department’s latest endeavor to catch and prosecute drunk drivers. As a former municipal prosecutor myself, I understand the strategies used by law enforcement and prosecuting attorneys to effect arrests as well as DWI convictions.

According to news articles, the 101 Day of Summer campaign has been set up to provide for the “proactive enforcement” of anti-DWI laws, as well as to increase the public’s awareness of the dangers and pitfalls of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The upshot will, of course, be more than the usual number of police patrols on the road and possibly more than the average number of drunken driving arrests.

Using saturation patrols, and possible sobriety checkpoint as well, police will be actively seeking out drivers who might exhibit signs of inebriation while operating a motor vehicle. In order to make this campaign as effective as possible, municipalities such as Saddle Brook will have their officers establish random patrols throughout the area with the specific task to root out drunk drivers — those who violate the state’s DWI statutes.

The basis for a drunken driving arrest and possible conviction is a 0.08-percent blood-alcohol content (BAC) reading attained through the use of a breath test device, such as the Alcotest. Occasionally a blood draw will be used to determine a driver’s level of intoxication.

Every year, state and local police agencies conduct periodic DWI patrols and sobriety roadblocks (also known as drunk driving checkpoints), the funding for comes out of local coffers. For the 101 Days of Summer campaign, funding is provided to towns through New Jersey’s Drunk Driving Enforcement Fund. For municipalities like Saddle Brook, the grant will help to fund patrols from now until Labor Day weekend.

Saddle Brook’s police department ran a program not unlike the current 101 Days of Summer during last year’s winter holiday season — November to January — which was also funded by a grant from the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety.

Police stepping up summer DWI checkpoints in Saddle Brook, NorthJersey.com, June 2, 2011