PUBLIC SAFETY: Police begin the annual “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” crackdown this weekend, continuing through Sept. 3.
Paid for through federal grant money, local and state police will conduct sobriety checkpoints and have roving patrols on the roads, looking for drunk drivers.
It’s part of a concentrated national effort to make people aware about the dangers of drinking and driving. Also being used are posters, banners and mobile video display signs.
Launched nationally in 1999, the program targets some of the busiest travel times of the year — which, of course, includes Labor Day weekend.
“Many people believe that after a few drinks they’re still safe to drive,” said Gary Poedubicky, acting director of the U.S. Division of Highway Traffic Safety. “Even one drink can impair your judgment and reaction time, putting not only yourself, but everyone on the road, in danger.”
In 2010, drinking accounted for 20 percent of New Jersey’s motor-vehicle deaths.
The DHTS suggests you consider:
• If you plan to drink, designate a driver, someone who will not drink alcohol, before going out;
• Take mass transit, a taxi or ask a sober friend to drive you home;
• Spend the night where the activity is held;
• Dial #77 to report a drunk or aggressive driver;
• Always buckle up, every ride, regardless of your seating position in the vehicle. 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 you to your doorstep.