Over the years, getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle while possibly intoxicated has become more and more risky from a legal standpoint here in the Garden State. Not only is driving drunk dangerous from a traffic safety point of view, but the chances of being caught and prosecuted have been rising for those who take the chance that they may be legally drunk.
Whether one drives near the Jersey Shore or farther inland, police throughout the Garden State will be participating in the so-called “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, a nationwide drunk driving enforcement effort beginning on August 15 and running through September 1. As New Jersey DWI defense lawyers, my colleagues and I have represented numerous clients over the years who have been stopped for what seemed like a simple traffic infraction only to fine themselves arrested and charged with drunk driving.
Needless to say, the stakes can be quite high these days, as those motorists who are convicted of DWI or drug DUI face thousands of dollars in fines, fees and mandatory insurance premium increases. This upcoming campaign will likely include enhanced DWI-DUI road patrols, plus additional sobriety roadblocks and DWI checkpoints. As usual, this late summer enforcement effort is timed to coincide with the Labor Day holiday, a time of year that is known for its parties and special events where individuals often consume alcoholic beverages and then sometimes get behind the wheel in an impaired state.
As long-time DWI and drug DUI defense attorneys, my firm fully understands the serious nature of any impaired driving charge. My firm’s legal team knows how a drunken driving arrest can easily turn into a conviction down the line, along with the associated monetary penalties and occasional jail time. As experienced trial lawyers, my staff is fully prepared to fight for your rights when an accusation of drunken driving or drug DUI has been levied by the state.
When it comes to this latest campaign, much of the increased police activity during the two weeks leading up to Labor Day will likely be funded by state and federal monies earmarked for such enforcement periods. This includes the staffing of late-night sobriety roadblocks, which are often erected with the aim of catching potentially drunk or impaired motorists. In addition, the presence of saturation patrols along local roadways and interstates can also mean a rise in drunken driving arrests, deserved or not.
According to a recent news article, the borough of Caldwell will be sending its police force out to join the national campaign in late August. The Caldwell PD will reportedly put in extra hours, like many law enforcement agencies throughout the state, in an effort to combat an expected increase in drunken driving incidents.
Based on comments from borough officials, local patrolmen will join state and county police agencies to carry out sobriety roadblocks and DWI checkpoints, as well as drunk driving patrols specifically tasked to spot potentially intoxicated drivers. According to the article we reviewed, officials at the Division of Highway Traffic Safety told reporters that 22 percent of all fatal motor vehicle accidents in the Garden State last year were alcohol-related events. The division’s spokesperson also stated that the state provides grants to the Borough of Caldwell’s police department, as well as other local law enforcement agencies, to run the campaign each year.
Caldwell PD to Crack Down on Drunk Driving, NewJerseyHills.com, July 30, 2014