State Police Take “Goal Line” Stand Against Drunk Driving

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WEST TRENTON – State officials remind partygoers to enjoy this Sunday’s football festivities without getting flagged for “excessive celebration” by being charged with DWI.

According to Dow, there is no excuse for an individual to get behind the wheel if they have been drinking alcohol. “Many people will be attending parties at private residences or going to local bars or restaurants to watch the Super Bowl,” she said.  “If you plan to drink alcohol, make sure you’ve taken the necessary steps before leaving home to ensure a safe return trip.

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That starts with designating a driver who will not be drinking. By planning ahead, you can protect yourself, your family and other motorists from tragedy on the road.”

“All star athletes and armchair quarterbacks alike, no one is immune to the dangers of driving while intoxicated,” said New Jersey State Police Superintendent Rick Fuentes. “The most insidious part of intoxication is the slowing down of a person’s reactions well before they become obviously drunk.  That lag time in reacting to danger can turn a near miss into a medevac ride to the trauma center, or worse-a trip to the morgue,” added Fuentes.

Troopers will be teaming with local and county agencies to strictly enforce New Jersey’s motor vehicle laws. Particular attention will be paid to enforcing drinking and driving statutes. Patrols will utilize high visibility and zero tolerance enforcement this weekend to concentrate on those behaviors that contribute to fatal accidents. Officers will focus on drowsy and inattentive drivers, noting that drowsy and inattentive driving are two of the largest contributing factors (and most under-reported) in motor vehicle crashes.

“Our mission is to ensure that a day of celebration doesn’t turn into a day of tragedy,” said Troop “A” Commander Major Lou Klock.

So far this year, there has been a 32 percent decrease in fatalities compared to the same period last year.

“Despite our gains in combating drunk driving, we still have too many individuals who believe that after a few drinks, they’re safe to drive,” said Division of Highway Traffic Safety Director Pam Fischer. “Approximately 28 percent of all fatal crashes in New Jersey last year involved alcohol, while nationally alcohol was a factor in 32 percent of fatal motor vehicle crashes.  Even one drink can alter your judgment and reaction time behind the wheel, putting not only yourself, but everyone on the road, in danger.”

“Everyone wants to have a good time at Super Bowl parties, but there are simple steps that must be taken in order to allow everyone to enjoy the celebration,” stated Fuentes.

Safety Tips

  • Avoid drinking too much alcohol too fast. Pace yourself – eat; take breaks, alternate with non-alcoholic drinks.
  • Designate your sober driver before the party begins and give that person your vehicle keys.
  • If impaired, don’t even think about getting behind the wheel. Ask a sober friend for a ride home; call a cab, friend or family member to come and get you; or stay where you are and sleep it off until you are sober.
  • Remember, Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk. Take the keys and never let a friend leave your sight if you think they are about to drive while impaired.

If you are hosting a party:

  • Serve lots of food – particularly high-protein dishes – and be sure to include lots of non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Stop serving alcohol at the end of the third quarter of the game – begin serving coffee and dessert.
  • Be sure all of your guests designate their drivers in advance, or help arrange ride sharing with sober drivers.

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