With five of the seven deaths on New Jersey roadways during last year’s Thanksgiving holiday weekend involving passengers in vehicles, Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato has announced stepped up DWI/traffic enforcement for this year’s holiday.
The enforcement effort will be concentrated throughout the Ocean County area and consist of numerous checkpoints/roving patrols searching for impaired drivers.The checkpoint program, which is funded in part by the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety, will be conducted by local police agencies in conjunction with detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office and Sheriff’s Department K-9 Unit.
In making his announcement, Coronato reminded drivers that Thanksgiving is a time for thanks, not mourning avoidable tragedies caused by irresponsible drivers.
“Last year the majority of deaths came to passengers riding in vehicles,” he said. “Drivers must remember the safety of their passengers and others depends solely on their commitment to drive responsibly. The Thanksgiving holiday is for celebrating family and loved ones. We beg those who get behind the wheel this holiday to drive responsibly and make smart choices to assure this holiday remains a time for celebration and not mourning.”
While the program targets those under the influence of alcohol, there will also be two drug recognition experts at each checkpoint to detect those who may be under the influence of a narcotic.
Prosecutor Coronato concluded, “The last three years have seen a steady increase in New Jersey roadway deaths – 480 deaths in 2015, 534 in 2016, and 540 deaths to date in 2017. These statistics are tremendously tragic and unacceptable. Thankfully, Ocean County had no fatalities during the 2016 Thanksgiving holiday. The dedicated law enforcement officers of our county will spend their holiday away from family trying to repeat that zero fatality weekend.”
– Reposted from The Sandpaper