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DWI Crackdown to be Conducted in Essex County

Essex County

New Jersey’s largest annual drunk driving crackdown will be here soon, authorities announced today.

Law enforcement officers from the Essex County Sheriff’s Office will be participating in the 2016 Labor Day Statewide “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign. Beginning August 19 and running through September 5, local and state law enforcement officers will conduct sobriety checkpoints and roving patrols, looking for motorists who may be driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs.

“Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” is a national campaign designed to raise awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving through high-visibility enforcement backed up by public educational efforts including national radio and television advertisements, posters, banners and mobile video display signs.

The campaign looks to curtail impaired driving during the busy summer travel season, including the Labor Day holiday period.

“In 2015 in New Jersey, 562 lives were lost in motor vehicle crashes,” Sheriff Armando Fontoura stated. “In Essex County, 40 individuals, including 11 drivers, 26 pedestrians and three passengers, died in traffic accidents. The consumption of alcohol plays a major role in the many traffic fatalities. Persons who think they are okay to drive after a few drinks are wrong. Dead wrong. Drinking impairs your judgment and reaction time while putting yourself, those in your car and everyone on the road in danger.”

There will be zero tolerance throughout the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign.

“If drivers are caught operating their vehicle while impaired they will be arrested,” Sheriff Fontoura noted.

The New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety has provided grants to local law enforcement agencies throughout the state to run the two-week campaign.

Sheriff Fontoura and participating law enforcement agencies in the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over 2016” 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.

•​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.