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Statewide Spotlight Broadly Focused on Drunk Drivers

Obviously, driving drunk in New Jersey is never a good thing, either for the driver's prospects or for those on the road who are anywhere near him or her. Motorists who drink and drive will be targeted even more closely than usual from this week into January, with the state having just kicked off its "Over the Limit, Under Arrest" campaign.

It is a catchy moniker, but nothing about it is intended to be light-veined or humorous. Drunk drivers across the state are involved in car accidents at an inordinately high rate, with more than 30 percent of all fatalities reported in New Jersey last year being DWI-related. The annual campaign just under way seeks to flood the state's highways with saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints, with police officers stating that they will find, arrest and aggressively prosecute drunk drivers.

A tandem program that began in New Jersey and is now nationally recognized for its role in preventing drunk driving is also being publicized. The HERO Campaign for Designated Drivers: Drive Sober - started by the family of state resident John R. Elliott, who was killed in a head-on collision with a drunk driver - encourages broad-based collaboration among community and business groups, schools and enforcement agencies to deter people from drinking and driving.

Pam Fisher, the Director of the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety, cites the "grave danger" posed by drunk drivers, and points to another deterrence tool that is also available in the fight against drunk driving: From anywhere in the state, a motorist who observes another driver who appears to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs can report that driver by calling "77" on his or her cell phone.

Related Resource: www.northjersey.com "DWI enforcement will get a boost" December 3, 2010

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