LINDEN — Law enforcement officials from the Linden Police Department will be cracking down on drunk drivers as part of the annual holiday season “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” statewide campaign. From now through Jan. 2, 2012, local and state law enforcement officials will conduct saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints looking for motorists who may be driving while intoxicated.
A concentrated national effort, the campaign helps to raise awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving through high-visibility enforcement and public education tools, including posters, banners and mobile video display signs. Launched nationally in 1999, the program works to combat drunk driving during some of the busiest travel times of the year.
“This is a critical law enforcement program that can save lives during a time of the year when impaired driving traditionally increases by nearly 10 percent,” said Linden Police Sergeant Michael Babulski. “This initiative brings attention to the serious consequences of drunk driving and the grave danger those who choose to drink and drive pose to all who share the road with them. Last holiday season our officers arrested 17 people for driving while intoxicated, and issued over 350 traffic summonses. Driving while intoxicated is a serious issue, and our officers will continue to treat it that way.”
Last year in New Jersey, 168 people were killed as a result of alcohol-related crashes. That number represents 30 percent of the 556 traffic fatalities reported in the state in 2010.
Law enforcement agencies participating in the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over 2011 Year End Crackdown offer the following advice:
- Take mass transit, a taxicab, or ask a sober friend to drive you home.
- Spend the night where the activity is held.
- Report impaired drivers to law enforcement. In New Jersey, drivers may dial #77 on their cell phones to report a drunk driver.
- Always buckle-up, every ride. It’s your best defense against an impaired driver.
- If you’re intoxicated and traveling on foot, the safest way to get home is to take a cab or have a sober friend or family member drive or escort you to your doorstep.
Motorists are also asked to subscribe to the pledge of the Ensign John R. Elliot HERO Campaign for Designated Drivers: Drive sober, be a designated driver and don’t let friends drive drunk. Under the effort, local businesses and community groups, law enforcement agencies, and schools work together to keep drunk drivers off the road. Started in New Jersey by the Elliot family following the tragic death of their son, John, in a head-on collision with a drunk driver, the campaign has become a national model for preventing drunk driving.
For more information on the HERO Campaign, visit http://www.herocampaign.org/.
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