With the continued emphasis on anti-drunk driving campaigns, enhanced DWI-DUI enforcement patrols, and overnight sobriety checkpoints all across the Garden State, some people might be wondering if the intensity of the anti-drunken driving efforts will ever abate. From our standpoint, as New Jersey DWI-DUI defense lawyers, any let up will certainly take a long time to come. Of course, part of the money for all of the additional manpower and overtime hours typically comes from federal funding.
For example, take the annual “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” holiday campaign that ran last year from December 6 to January 2. Dozens of police departments all across the state each received $4,400 in grant money for the 2013 holiday crackdown. All told, 144 departments shared a $730,400 pot of money to conduct drunk driving “saturation” patrols and set up DWI roadblocks in counties like Monmouth, Ocean, Middlesex and Hudson. For many people, just the threat of increased traffic enforcement was enough to make them think twice about having a drink at company parties or family gatherings.
According to news reports, about a one-third of all law enforcement agencies in the Garden State received some kind of funding to bolster police patrols around the state. The number was actually up from the previous year, when just 95 departments received grant monies. This kind of funding usually comes at times when the seasonal arrest rate for drunk driving is higher than normal. New Years is an especially busy time for police officers when it comes to stopping potentially drunk motorists.
During the holiday season, whether one drives here in the Cape May area, over in Trenton, or up in Sussex County, police arrest statistics show a marked jump in the number of intoxicated and otherwise impaired individuals on the road. The New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety is one agency that participates in many of the policing activities throughout the Garden State.
According to state traffic records, in 2012 there were 158 roadway fatalities that were directly linked to impaired driving. State officials have said that those fatal traffic incidents amounted to more than a quarter of all traffic accident fatalities in New Jersey for that year. In the holiday crackdown in 2012, police logged more than 1,500 DWI or drug DUI arrests. On top of that, police officers from all across New Jersey recorded more than 5,100 speeding citations and 3,100-plus safety belt summonses.
Needless to say, with the focus on highway safety unlikely to subside anytime soon, the state patrol and municipal police departments, along with the Division of Highway Traffic Safety, will be pursuing drunken driving offenders for quite some time. Meanwhile, it less than a month until St. Patrick’s Day, which is another red letter day for police departments all around the state — just keep in mind that consuming even a small amount of alcohol can dull one’s senses and decrease reaction time. Use common sense and find a sober ride home if you believe you are the slightest bit intoxicated.
For a list of grant recipients from last December’s end-of-year DWI holiday crackdown, click here.
Toms River PD Gets $4,400 for DWI Crackdown During Holidays, Patch.com, December 5, 2013