Starting Friday and through Jan. 2, local and state law enforcement officials will conduct special patrols and sobriety checkpoints specifically intended to root out motorists who may be driving while intoxicated.
A Hopatcong Police statement said the campaign is designed to raise awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving through high visibility enforcement and public education.
"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," the statement 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 all who share the road with them. Last year in New Jersey, 19 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities were alcohol-related. Nationally, during the combined months of December in 2007-2011, there were 4,169 people killed in drunk driving crashes."
Law enforcement agencies participating in the 2013 "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" effort offer the following advice:
- Take mass transit, a taxi, 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 the doorstep
- Be responsible. If someone you know is drinking, do not let that person get behind the wheel.