Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Educates Against Drunk Driving and Leads to Increased Efforts by Police Departments to Find and Charge Drunk Drivers in New Jersey and Across the Nation
Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over is a national campaign supported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to remind drivers not to drive under the influence of alcohol. Its approach focuses on education and enforcement. Through increased communication on billboards, social media, and other methods of communication, the campaign reminds the community to plan a sober ride home before the festivities begin. The enforcement is effectuated by the police, who set up various checkpoints to screen drivers and apprehend those who are impaired.
Major Purpose of a Nationwide Campaign Against DWI
This national campaign aims to create a consciousness among drivers that driving while under the influence has life-altering consequences for the driver and anyone on the road with them. The goal is to reduce the number of DWI-related accidents and subsequent fatalities dramatically. The campaign focuses on prevention rather than arrests but makes the message very clear that getting caught drinking and driving is too much of a risk and should be avoided at all costs. The message is clear: if you choose to drink and drive, you lose.
The Numbers Behind the Initiative Targeting Drunk Drivers
Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is dangerous both for the driver and the motorists around them. According to the latest New Jersey State Police Fatal Crash Report, in 2021 in New Jersey, 697 people were killed in 667 fatal crashes. Nearly 30% of the fatalities had consumed alcohol, and 12.0% of drivers were intoxicated, according to the legal limit. The number of fatal accident victims increased by 22.7% between 2020 and 2021.
Distracted driving was the leading cause of traffic fatalities until 2021, with the highest number of fatalities (697) since 2007. There was a steady increase in traffic fatalities involving driving under the influence from 2018 to 2021. The study also analyzed the number of accidents involving drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and cyclists who tested positive for cannabis after fatal accidents.
How is Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Campaign Developed?
The campaign focuses its efforts most during select times of the year when DWI cases are most numerous. With traffic safety marketing, run by the NHTSA, marketing tools such as banners and videos can be downloaded to share on social media, in businesses, newspapers, and other available media. The idea is to saturate media outlets with the message that drinking and driving can have dire consequences and there are safe ways to get where one needs to go without forfeiting good judgment and safety. Police presence is increased, and checkpoints are placed throughout the state to catch those who choose to drink and drive.
Media’s Loud Stance on DUI Dangers Aligned with the Campaign
During peak times, when the police presence is augmented and checkpoints abound, the news media also do their part by reminding drivers not to drink and drive. They interview police officers about the dangers of driving under the influence. They also explain that driving drunk can take the lives of the driver, their passengers, and other people on the road. Interviews with those injured by an accident where driving drunk was a factor talk about how their lives have been changed due to injuries or the death of a loved one. Media outlets are encouraged to discuss the legal consequences of drinking and driving. The police depend on them to hit home the importance of driving sober and what can happen if you don’t.
The dates targeted by the campaign are July 1-8, Aug.14-Sept.3, and Dec.11-Jan.2. In New Jersey, the state recently gave $795,340 to 132 law enforcement agencies to cover the costs of checkpoints and additional enforcement.
Impact of Enhanced Enforcement on DWI Arrests in NJ
The increased enforcement and additional units on the roads haven’t decreased DWI drivers alone. During 2023, 574 impaired driving arrests were made, 1,664 seat belt tickets were issued, and 2,898 tickets for speeding were given. Additionally, 3,537 tickets for other violations were given. New Jersey’s drivers and passengers are safer as a result of the added enforcement.
Harsh Consequences for Drivers Convicted of DWI in New Jersey
New Jersey’s rate of DWI accidents is one of the lowest in the country, most likely due to the tough repercussions that befall an intoxicated driver. New Jersey is an implied consent state, which means if a driver refuses to take a breathalyzer test, they will face DUI penalties such as fines and a suspension of their license. Drunk drivers will have their cars impounded at the time of arrest. A DWI conviction carries fines and possible jail time and requires an Interlock device connected to the ignition. This device measures the alcohol a driver may have in their system. The car will not start if alcohol is detected. These devices cost between $75 and $140 per month, and the driver’s license is suspended until they have one installed. New Jersey’s message to potential drunk drivers is that there are too many consequences to risk driving impaired.
Let our Experienced Defense Attorneys Handle DUI Charges in Essex County, New Jersey
A DWI arrest is serious business. Your license can be suspended for a year or more; you will have to pay fines, attend driving classes, and complete community service. It could be hard to get car insurance, or the premium for your existing insurance could skyrocket. A conviction could affect your ability to get a job, purchase a weapon, rent an apartment, or obtain credit. Avoiding a conviction is your best option.
You need a defense attorney with experience and knowledge about the charges you are facing. We can identify possible weaknesses in the case against you. Our attorneys are skilled at analyzing evidence and creating a course of action that will best benefit you and your situation. A DUI charge is not something you want to face alone. We have the resources and skills necessary to provide you with the best possible outcome in Millburn, West Caldwell, Belleville, Nutley, Verona, Livingston, Roseland, Short Hills, Montclair, or elsewhere in Essex County. Contact us at 201-654-3464 for a free consultation today.