Here in Bergen County, as with all the other areas of New Jersey, scores of drivers are picked up by police on a regular basis for offenses ranging from driving a motor vehicle while intoxicated by alcohol to operating a car or truck under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS). As drunken driving defense lawyers representing Garden State drivers charged with DWI or drug DUI, my team of experienced trial attorneys have almost 100 years of collective courtroom experience defending individuals accused of serious offenses such drunk driving to possession of illicit drugs in a motor vehicle.
As motorists ourselves, we fully understand the importance of maintaining a high level of safety on our public roads. To this end, we also know how hard many of New Jersey’s state and local law enforcement officers work to keep our roadways free of hazards and dangerous situations. We commend the hard work of police all across the state, but we also know that police officers are human, just like everybody else, which means that they can make mistakes even though we expect perfection from them.
It goes without saying that the majority of officers and the agencies for which they work have a strong desire to help the community at large. This can be reflected in the campaigns against drunk driving and the public service announcement that are often seen and heard during high-risk periods such as the New Year’s holiday, Memorial Day, Labor Day and even St. Patrick’s Day.
A while back there was an example of the type of community-based DWI awareness event that takes place from time to time all across the country. In this particular instance, over in Ocean County, law enforcement officials provided the public with a glimpse into the world of impaired driving. Almost as a prelude to the summer vacation season, the “Drug, Alcohol Awareness Weekend” at Ocean County Mall included talks from drug experts and a chance to experience “simulated” alcohol impairment using special goggles.
During the weekend, one of the more popular exhibits was the “fatal vision goggles,” which the event’s sponsors explained help to show sober folks what it is like to be drunk by simulating the impairing effects of alcohol intoxication. In addition to what some might describe as true “beer goggles,” the event also featured informational sessions with local educators, drug rehab coordinators and experts on substance-abuse.
Members of the Ocean County Health Department’s Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC) were available to help visitors experience the world of drunken driving by running simulations representing drunk driving police stops, what happens at a DWI-DUI checkpoint, providing information designed to discourage reckless driver behavior, and demonstrating the effects of impaired vehicle operation.
During the Friday-Saturday event, members New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs joined health department staff and students from several area schools in the county, as well as the DART Coalition and others, to inform visitors about the county’s ongoing issues with alcohol and drug addiction. Later on each of the days, staff members from the county prosecutor’s office were also in attendance to answer attendees’ questions and hammer home the theme of the event: “There’s Always A Choice – Never An Accident.”
Drug, Alcohol Awareness Weekend At Ocean County Mall; Patch.com; February 21, 2014