FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 18, 2009

CONTACT: Wayne Avery, 908-527-4742
Sebastian D’Elia, 908-527-4419

 

UNION COUNTY TO JOIN IN STATEWIDE CRACKDOWN ON DRUNK DRIVING

 

Law enforcement officers from Union County will be cracking down on drunk drivers as part of the summer 2009 “Over the Limit, Under Arrest” campaign.  Beginning August 21 and running through September 7, local, county and state law enforcement officers will conduct sobriety checkpoints, looking for motorists who may be driving while intoxicated.

“Keeping drivers safe on our county streets and highways is a top priority,” said Union County Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella. “Making drivers aware of the dangers of consuming even one drink will go a long way in preventing accidents and saving lives.”

The “Over the Limit, Under Arrest” campaign will help raise awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving through high-visibility enforcement and public education tools. A concentrated national effort will include posters, banners and mobile video display signs.  The program got its start back in 1999 and has been enforced during some of the busiest travel times of the year, including the summer months.

As part of the initiative, the Division of Highway Traffic Safety provides grants to local law enforcement agencies throughout the state to run the two-week campaign.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that nationally, drunken driving fatalities accounted for 32 percent of all traffic deaths in 2008.  Last year in New Jersey, 152 people were killed as a result of alcohol-related crashes.  That number represents 26 percent of the 590 traffic fatalities reported in the state last year.  In addition, 56 of those alcohol-related fatalities occurred during the summer travel season.

Law enforcement agencies participating in the “Over the Limit, Under Arrest 2009” crackdown offer the following advice:

  • If you plan to drink, designate a driver, someone who will not drink alcohol, before going out.
  • Take mass transit, a taxi 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 to report a drunk or aggressive driver.
  • Always buckle up, every ride, regardless of your seating position in the vehicle. 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 you to your doorstep.