Drunken driver crusade to begin

Campaign runs from Aug. 17 through Sept. 3

By John Tredrea, Staff Writer
   The Hopewell Township Police Department will increase enforcement of laws against drunken driving as part of a state-led, statewide campaign that will run from Friday through Sept. 3.
   ”The summer driving season and the Labor Day holiday are a time for fun with friends and family, not tragedy,” said Pam Fischer, director of the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety. “The law enforcement community and safety organizations of the state are committed to eliminating impaired driving from our roads.”
   ”From Aug. 17 to Sept. 3, law enforcement officers from this agency will be stepping up impaired driving enforcement as part of New Jersey’s Over the Limit Under Arrest 2007 Crackdown,” Hopewell Township Lt. Lance Maloney said Monday.
   The summer driving season, which concludes with the Labor Day holiday, is traditionally a time for social gatherings, which often include alcohol, Lt. Maloney noted. The goal of the program in which the township will participate is to raise awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving through high-visibility enforcement, and to arrest motorists who choose to drive while impaired by drugs or alcohol.
   Impaired drivers kill nearly 18,000 people on the nation’s roads each year, statistics released by the township police say. In New Jersey for 2005, 252 of the 748 motor vehicle fatalities, or 34 percent, were alcohol-related. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that nearly 97 percent of Americans view drinking and driving by others as a threat to their families and themselves. Americans support tougher enforcement and rank drunken driving ahead of health care, poverty, the environment and gun control as an important social issue, they noted.
   Law enforcement agencies participating in the Over the Limit Under Arrest 2007 Crackdown offer the following advice:
   — Be responsible and don’t risk it. You will get caught.
   — If you plan to drink, choose a designated driver before going out.
   — Realize before going out that every drink you have makes it more difficult to know when you’ve had too much to drive.
   — 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.
   — Always buckle up. It’s your best defense against an impaired driver.