As a result, South Brunswick Police will once again be joining in the statewide “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, running from Dec. 6 through Jan. 2. During the program, local and state law enforcement agencies will increase saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints, in addition to raising awareness about the dangers of drunk driving through enforcement and education tools.
“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 Raymond Hayducka. “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 South Brunswick during the "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign, police reported five arrests, 180 summonses issued and a 5 percent reduction in accidents.
Throughout New Jersey, 19 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities were alcohol-related, while 4,169 people were killed in drunk driving crashes during the combined months of December from 2007 to 2011 nationwide, according to police.
In South Brunswick during 2013, two police officers were seriously injured when drunk drivers crashed into their marked patrol cars.
"Two officers' careers were ended this year because of injuries caused by drunk drivers," Hayducka said. "The finacial cost to our township has been in the hundreds of thousands, but the human cost has been much higher. We want people to enjoy the holiday season but to make smart decisions and not drink and drive."
Police urge the public to abide by the following tips during the holiday season:
• 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.