For those motorists who have already taken note of the increased number of municipal and state patrol officers plying the Garden State Parkway, highways and surface streets this summer, get ready for more of the same this coming holiday weekend. Police presence on New Jersey roadways this summer, as with most every past year, has been fairly obvious, if only because of the anti-DWI and DUI enforcement that comes with warmer weather and summertime revelers; but Labor Day will be especially active from the standpoint of drunk driving enforcement.
As DWI defense lawyers whose job it is to represent drivers accused of operating a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol, refusing a breathalyzer test, or possessing a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) in their vehicle, the skilled attorneys at my law firm have the legal experience to help defendants get through a DWI case and on with their lives.
During the summer months, as well as various holidays throughout the year, police departments in many New Jersey towns and municipalities step up their drunken driving patrols, as well as conduct random sobriety checkpoints in areas well-known for DWI-related arrests and accidents. As with most of these anti-DWI campaigns, the “Drive Sober, or Get Pulled Over” anti-DWI campaign currently in effect entails increased police patrols (aka “saturation” patrols) and even some DUI roadblocks, all of which will probably net dozens of unsuspecting drivers who may or may not be legally intoxicated.
By employing these so-called saturation patrols police officers in mobile units will be actively seeking out motorists who make driving errors or blatantly flout the law. While not everyone who breaks a traffic law is arrested and charged with drunken driving, the opportunity for a DWI arrest is greatly increased during these high-enforcement holiday weekends.
According to the latest news, police departments such as the one in Gloucester Township will be conducting a higher-than-normal number of traffic patrols thanks in part to state and federal monies provided as part of the “Drive Sober, or Get Pulled Over” campaign. Based on news articles, the coming Labor Day weekend will see more than 150 state law enforcement agencies participating in anti-drunk driving efforts statewide.
For Gloucester Township, the local police reportedly will receive more than $4,000 through the Division of Highway Traffic Safety to fund the added manpower and overtime pay during what some have described as an “end-of-summer blitz” on drunken drivers.
This end-of-the-season crackdown on intoxicated motorists is designed not only to catch potentially drunken drivers, but it is also being billed as communicating a reminder to all other drivers that getting behind the wheel while drunk is “a terrible idea.” As state police enforcement professionals expect the usual heavy volume of Labor Day traffic, the odds that someone reading this might find him or herself on the receiving end of a DWI summons could be quite high.
Starting tomorrow, August 30th, and continuing through September 2nd, drivers should expect to be under increased scrutiny by local patrolmen and state troopers as they maintain a vigilant eye on New Jersey roadways. It may be motivational to know that during last year’s Labor Day weekend, police made nearly 1,500 drunk driving arrests across the state. In addition to this, patrolmen also stopped more than 6,000 drivers for speeding, issued more than 4,000 citations for non-use of seatbelts and took into custody almost 2,000 fugitives from the law.
As always, should you or someone you know be arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated here in New Jersey, we highly recommend that you at least consult a qualified DWI defense attorney to better understand your options going forward. The penalties for a first-time DWI can include up to $500 in fines and possibly 30 days in jail, not to mention a 12-month suspension of one’s driver’s license.
Police Planning Labor Day Crackdown on Drunk Driving, Patch.com, August 14, 2013