ROBBINSVILLE: Department to crack down on drunk drivers during the holidays

Department to participate in statewide campaign

ROBBINSVILLE — Law enforcement officials from Robbinsville Township will be cracking down on drunk drivers as part of the annual holiday season “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” statewide campaign.
   According to a police department release Beginning Dec. 6, 2013 and running through Jan. 2,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 DWI checkpoint.
   ”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 Chief Martin Masseroni. “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 year in New Jersey, 19 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities were alcohol-related. Nationally, during the combined months of December in 2007-2011, there were 4,169 people killed in drunk driving crashes.
   Law enforcement agencies participating in the statewide 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.
   * If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact law enforcement. Your actions may save someone’s life, and inaction could cost a life.
   * Always buckle-up, every ride. It’s your best defense against an impaired driver.
   * If you are 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.
   * Be responsible. If someone you know is drinking, do not let that person get behind the wheel.
   In a state release, it was announced communities like Robbinsville would receive $4,400 in state funds to help pay for the stepped up patrols.
   According to the state release, a person is guilty of drunk driving in New Jersey if he or she operates a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or greater.
   Although the law refers to a 0.08 percent BAC, you can be convicted of driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor even when your BAC is below 0.08 percent, the release stated.
   Consuming even small amounts of alcohol dulls the senses, decreases reaction time, and hampers judgment, vision and alertness, according to the state.
   If you consume any amount of alcohol and your driving is negatively impacted, you can be convicted of drunk driving, according to the release.
   Violators can also expect auto insurance surcharges of several thousand dollars.
   There were 158 fatalities directly attributed to impaired driving in the state last year, accounting for 27 percent of the 589 total crash fatalities, according to the release.The last holiday crackdowns resulted in 1,555 driving while intoxicated arrests.
   In addition, participating police agencies issued 5,138 speeding summonses and 3,113 seat belt summonses, and more than 1,600 fugitives were apprehended during the mobilization.