A holiday drunk driving crackdown in South Brunswick led to five arrests, 180 summonses issued and a 5 percent reduction in accidents, according to police.
The department increased patrols during the holiday season as part of a grant from the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety's "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign from Dec. 15, 2012 to Jan. 2, 2013. Police charged five people with drunk driving during the holiday season campaign.
“Our goal with these details was to ensure a safe holiday season," said Chief Raymond Hayducka. "In addition to the drunk driving arrests, there was a 5 percent reduction in accidents this holiday season. Our commitment to creating safer roads is a never-ending task.”
On Dec. 15, 2012 at 12:57 a.m., Jaimin Patel, 41, of Monmouth Junction was charged for driving under the influence after his 2002 Honda Civic went off the road into a drainage ditch on Riva Avenue. Patel was charged with driving under the influence, reckless driving, failing to maintain a lane. He was taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital for treatment.
On Dec. 16 at 1:30 a.m., Ashley Gunther, 26, of North Brunswick, was charged for drunk driving after a car accident at the intersection of Friendship Road and New Road where her vehicle struck a utility pole, according to police. At the scene of the accident, officers found a 2010 white Subaru with heavy front end damage that ended up on the front lawn of a home, but no driver was found. Police said Gunther was driven by a friend to Princeton University Hospital. She was charged with driving under the influence, leaving the scene of an accident, driving an unregistered vehicle, careless driving, and having an open container of alcohol in the vehicle.
On Dec. 20 at 8:11 p.m., Chandresh Chitalia, 47, of East Brunswick, was charged after a striking a motorcyclist on Cranbury Road at the intersection of Davidson Mill Road. Chitalia allegedly fled the scene after colliding with the motorcycle. East Brunswick Police stopped Chitalia on Cranbury Road with the motorcycle stuck under his vehicle. He was charged with driving under the influence, assault by auto, and endangering the welfare of an injured person.
On Dec. 28 at 11:26 p.m., Wendy Urena, 30, of New York City, was charged after police stopped her vehicle for speeding on Route 1. The arresting officer detected an odor of alcohol and arrested Urena after having her perform sobriety tests. Urena was charged with driving under the influence, refusal to take a breathalyzer, careless driving, speeding, and failure to maintain a lane.
On Dec. 30, at 1:06 a.m., Thomas Spiecker, 18, of Sayreville, was charged after being stopped by police for making an illegal U-turn on Cranbury Road, where he had pulled into a Sunoco gas station. Spieckler was arrested after police smelled alcohol on his breath and administered field sobriety tests. Spieckler was charged with driving under the influence, underage drunk driving, careless driving, performing an illegal U-turn, and for not having insurance.
Seven people were also arrested for outstanding warrants during the campaign in addition to the drunk driving arrests.