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Sobriety Checkpoints Scheduled for Middlesex County

Middlesex County

Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey said today that police departments in Middlesex County will be participating in a year-long crackdown on impaired driving by randomly setting up sobriety checkpoints to ensure the public’s safety.

The checkpoints are being made possible through a $36,300 grant to cover the costs of salaries and equipment for the departments that are participating in the program.

The grant was provided by the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety. The grants will cover enforcement costs to September 2017.

Under the program, the sobriety traffic stops will be set up to apprehend intoxicated motorists, and, hopefully, encourage people not to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey and the Police Chiefs Association of Middlesex County fully support the sobriety checkpoints.

“The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office has been successfully operating sobriety checkpoints since 1985,’’ Prosecutor Carey said, adding that establishment of the checkpoints is an important deterrent to impaired driving. And, “curtailing impaired driving will prevent serious accidents and will save lives,’’ Prosecutor Carey said.

Seeking an alternative way home, such as calling for a taxi, is far less costly that being arrested for impaired driving, Prosecutor Carey said, noting that penalties tor impaired driving are severe.

First offenders whose blood-alcohol content registers between 0.08 percent and 0.01 percent can be incarcerated for up to 30 days and motorists may lose their driving privileges for seven months to a year. Those convicted with a blood-alcohol reading of more than 0.15 percent must install an ignition interlock device on their vehicles. Fines and legal fees can cost motorists as much as $15,000.

Second-time offenders must be jailed for at least 48 hours and can be incarcerated for up to 90 days with a loss of driver’s license for two years.

A third offense carries imprisonment of 180 days and loss of driver’s license for 10 years.