N.J. begins crackdown on impaired driving

SPARTA. The Police Department has received a $7,000 grant as part of the state’s ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ year-end holiday campaign.

| 01 Dec 2023 | 08:06

The Sparta Police Department has received a $7,000 grant as part of the state’s “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” year-end holiday crackdown on driving while intoxicated.

Through Jan. 1, the initiative aims to minimize the potential for fatal or serious crashes caused by drivers under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol and heighten awareness of impaired driving, especially during the holiday driving season.

To strengthen enforcement efforts, the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety (HTS) has allocated more than $795,000 in grant funding to 132 police agencies throughout the state.

The grants will allow law enforcement to conduct saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints.

”Getting behind the wheel while impaired is a serious and dangerous decision that comes with real-life consequences. The ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ campaign is not merely a slogan; it is a reminder that risking lives on the road is never OK,” Attorney General Matthew Platkin in announcing the beginning of the campaign Dec. 1.

“And the additional funding that we are making available through this program will bolster enforcement efforts from our law enforcement partners to make our roads safer, safeguard families and ensure everyone gets to celebrate the holidays surrounded by their loved ones.”

During the 2022 holiday season, from the Wednesday before Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve, 69 people in New Jersey lost their lives to crashes involving impaired driving.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s most recent data, more than 4,500 people were killed nationwide in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes during the months of December from 2017 through 2021. In December 2021 alone, 1,013 people died in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes.

”Choosing to drive under the influence is an irresponsible and senseless decision that jeopardizes lives,” said Michael Rizol Jr., director of the HTS. “Driving impaired can carry significant legal and moral repercussions. This December, and always, opt for the wise and responsible decision. Don’t drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.”

During the year-end holiday campaign last year, participating law enforcement agencies made a total of 574 impaired driving arrests and issued 1,664 seat belt tickets, 431 distracted driving tickets and 2,898 speeding tickets. Additional 3,537 summonses were issued for other hazardous moving violations.

For information on impaired driving, go online to www.NJSafeRoads.com