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TRENTON - A campaign to curb drunk driving, beefed up by an injection of state funding to increase resources, will kick off across the state Dec. 3, the attorney general’s office announced.

Acting Attorney General Andrew J. Bruck warned motorists in a news release of increased traffic patrols and sobriety checkpoints through Jan. 1 as part of the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” holiday campaign.

“Let me be clear – those who drive while impaired will face serious consequences,” Bruck stated. “Getting behind the wheel drunk or high puts the driver, their passengers, and the public in jeopardy. Our traffic safety campaign will help everyone to enjoy the holiday season—responsibly.”

New Jersey’s crackdown on impaired driving is part of a nationwide effort to reduce traffic fatalities during the holiday season, when statistics show increased potential for crashes, the release said.

Two Cape May County departments received grants – Lower and Middle Township police each got $7,500, according to published state documents. 

Last year, the campaign resulted in 590 DUI arrests (alcohol and/or drugs) statewide, according to the attorney general’s office. 

“Driving drunk or high, especially during the busy holiday travel season, is selfish, dangerous, and illegal,” Eric Heitmann, director, Division of Highway Traffic Safety, said in a statement. “Today we’re giving everyone fair warning that the campaign launches on [Nov. 3] and anyone driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can expect to be pulled over and arrested.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, crashes involving drunk drivers accounted for nearly one-third of all traffic crash fatalities nationwide in 2019. Drunk driving fatalities occurred more frequently during the Christmas and New Year’s Day holiday periods that year than during any other holiday period, according to the attorney general’s office.

In New Jersey that year, crashes involving drunk drivers accounted for nearly a quarter of all traffic crash fatalities, claiming the lives of 129 people that year, according to Bruck’s office.

The Division of Highway Traffic Safety has provided 106 law enforcement agencies throughout the state with grants totaling $632,520 that pay for saturation patrols and high-visibility sobriety checkpoints during the month-long enforcement effort.

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