For anyone who wonders if the nation’s financial woes have impact enforcement of drunken driving laws here in the Garden State, the short answer is likely, No, at least in the near term. As New Jersey DWI defense attorneys, I and my legal staff talk to dozens of individuals every month who have been accused of driving while intoxicated. Although many of these people believe they are not guilty, some may be convicted of DWI or drug DUI and others may not. Whatever the circumstances surrounding a drunken driving arrest, it’s always a good idea to get some perspective from a qualified defense attorney.
Getting back to the issue of DWI-DUI enforcement, such as roadside sobriety checkpoints and roadblocks, as well as enhanced drunk driving patrols, recent news articles show that the funding of state and municipal police agencies continues apace regardless of talk swirling around Washington, D.C, to limit costly appropriations and government-funded programs.
Regardless of whether one is arrested in the city streets of Trenton, Toms River or Princeton, odds are that some motorists will be picked up by a police officer whose overtime is paid for by federal money received by New Jersey law enforcement agencies. The question that many people may be asking themselves is whether these expenditures are worth even a significant increase in drunken driving arrests and DWI or drug DUI summonses.
According to news articles, New Jersey will receive about five million dollars in federal funds to combat drunken driving her in the Garden State. The total provided by Washington, D.C., will be divided up into four individual grants, each destined to help fund additional DWI patrols and other efforts, such as sobriety checkpoints and public service announcements.
Based on news reports, the grants will come from the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and be directed toward the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety (NJDHTS) with the specific aim to reduce instances of driving while intoxicated, driving while distracted, and to help encourage safer driving practices that can affect the well-being of children when being transported in motor vehicles throughout the state. The funds are also supposed to go toward improving the NJDHTS’s data traffic flow monitoring systems.
Legislators in D.C. and here in Trenton are apparently very serious about reducing the frequency of drunk driving and accidents caused by DWI and drug DUIs. Citing the significant contribution that drunken driving-related fatalities represent as part of the 30,000+ highway deaths each year across U.S., legislators feel that funding anti-DWI traffic enforcement is critical to helping ensure that highways here in New Jersey as well as nationwide are safe for everyone.
Base on the news item, New Jersey’s Division of Highway Traffic Safety will receive the following funding:
— More than $2.9 million in aid to combat drunken driving across the state — Nearly $1.3 million for traffic safety programs for DWI, distracted driving, safety belt use and pedestrian safety — Approximately $490,000 to help improve the state’s traffic flow monitoring systems — About $270,000 that will go toward enforcement of child seatbelt laws
$5 Million Targets Drunk Driving Prevention in New Jersey, NJ1015.com, October 3, 2012