Local police are cracking down on drunken drivers again this holiday season, putting more cops on the street to keep motorists safe.
Beginning Friday, Dec. 7, the Mount Laurel Police Department will be participating in the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” statewide campaign. Local and state law enforcement officials will conduct saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints throughout the month looking for motorists who may be driving while intoxicated.
A concentrated national effort, the campaign—which runs through Jan. 2—helps raise awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving through high-visibility enforcement and public education tools, including posters, banners and mobile video display signs. Launched nationally in 1999, the program works to combat drunken driving during some of the busiest travel times of the year.
“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 Mount Laurel Chief Dennis Cribben. “This initiative brings attention to the serious consequences of drunken driving and the grave danger those who choose to drink and drive pose to all who share the road with them.”
Sgt. Lee Lieber said Moorestown Police would also be stepping up patrols throughout the holiday season specifically to curb potential drunken driving.
Last year in New Jersey, 152 people were killed as a result of alcohol-impaired crashes. That number represents 24 percent of the 627 traffic fatalities reported in the state in 2011. Law enforcement agencies participating in the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over 2012 campaign 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.
- Report impaired drivers to law enforcement. In New Jersey, drivers may dial #77 on their cell phones to report a drunken driver.
- Always buckle up, every ride. 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 or escort you to your door. Motorists are also asked to subscribe to the pledge of the Ensign John R. Elliot HERO Campaign for Designated Drivers: Drive sober, be a designated driver and don’t let friends drive drunk.
Under the effort, local businesses and community groups, law enforcement agencies and schools work together to keep drunken drivers off the road. Started in New Jersey by the Elliot family following the tragic death of their son, John, in a head-on collision with a drunken driver, the campaign has become a national model for preventing drunken driving.
Information provided by Mount Laurel Police