With summer now two weekends old, many Garden State drivers and more than a few out-of-state motorists passing through will have been stopped by New Jersey state troopers or one of many municipal cops trolling the state’s parkways, turnpikes and interstates in search of traffic law violators. As part of the routine number of police stops involving the issuance of citations for any number of moving violations, patrolmen often find drivers who may have imbibed a little too much beer or wine prior to getting behind the wheel. This can sometimes lead to a costly and often embarrassing DWI arrest.
As New Jersey drunk driving defense lawyers, my firm is dedicated to helping those motorists who have been accused of drinking and driving, operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of prescription medication, or some other impaired driving offense. While some may argue that hiring a lawyer to defend against a DWI or drug DUI summons is not worth the cost, those people often do not consider the long-term effects of a drunk driving conviction, which include mandatory increases in a defendant’s auto insurance premiums, which last for several years and total thousands of dollars.
Of course, the best defense against being convicted for DWI-DUI is simply not to drink and drive in the first place; even a small amount of alcohol in one’s bloodstream can result in a bevy of serious charges — and that doesn’t even include the possibility of getting into a personal injury accident as a consequence. Nevertheless, human nature often wins out over common sense, which is why we constantly see enhanced police traffic enforcement during certain times of the year when drunken driving is most prevalent.
Aside from the usual New Year’s Eve and St. Patrick’s Day, summertime can be a heavy enforcement period for communities up and down the Jersey Shore. Just recently, in fact, law enforcement officials in the Ocean County area have been advised that there should be “zero tolerance” for motorists who are found to be drunk behind the wheel.
According to a news item in late May, an increase in DWI and DUI enforcement will coincide with the beginning of the always busy summer vacation and travel season. Ocean County Prosecutor, Joseph D. Coronato, stated in a press release that the annual countywide sobriety checkpoint program would once again focus on drunk drivers, among other impaired driving offenders.
Based on news reports, the DWI checkpoint program includes the erection of multiple DWI-DUI checkpoints all around Ocean County. As in past years, the Ocean County program creates what county officials refer to as “a force multiplier” that takes makes the most of available manpower by regionalizing drunken driving enforcement and supplementing existing DWI enforcement at the local level.
What this all means to drivers traveling through areas of New Jersey that have enhanced drunk driving enforcement is that to counter the increase in vacation traffic in and around the Jersey Shore areas, law enforcement officers will be on heightened alert to maintain the safety of all drivers on the state’s roadways. The effort will, according to the news, continue to target the usually percentage of “inattentive or aggressive drivers,” but also attempt to educate, deter and, if need be, arrest and prosecute allegedly impaired drivers.
Not only will this upcoming program target motorists who may be driving while under the influence of alcohol, but it will also address the county’s continuing drug crisis, according to reports. In fact, the Ocean County prosecutor’s office stated that two Drug Recognition Experts (DREs) will be assigned to every sobriety checkpoint in order to detect those motorists who may be impaired due to narcotics of any kind.
Like previous years, these checkpoints are partially funded by the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders as well as the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety. Officers from multiple agencies will staff these DWI-DUI roadblocks, including municipal patrolmen, detectives from the county prosecutor’s office, and officers from the K-9 Unit of the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department.
Ocean County Prosecutor Steps Up Summer Traffic Enforcement – Calls for Zero Tolerance DWI Enforcement; OCSignal.com; May 22, 2014