You know you shouldn't drink and drive, but you may want to give the matter even more thought in Somerset County starting Friday.
That's when municipal, county and state law enforcement officials will kick “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over”, a statewide anti-drunk driving enforcement effort, into high gear.
The crackdown, which continues through Jan. 2, will have authorities conducting saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints throughout the county to look for motorists who are driving while intoxicated.
The campaign is expected to raise awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving through high-visibility enforcement and public education, said Somerset County Prosecutor Geoffrey D. Soriano in a release.
“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," Soriano said. "This initiative brings attention to the serious consequences of drunk driving and the grave danger those who choose to drink and drive pose to those individuals with whom they share the road.”
Last year in New Jersey, 19% of all motor vehicle fatalities were alcohol-related. Nationally, during the month of December from the years 2007 through 2011, combined, there were 4,169 people killed in drunk driving crashes.
Chief William Parenti of the Somerset County Association of Chiefs of Police offered the following advice for 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 a responsible friend. If someone you know is drinking, do not let that person get behind the wheel.