Mahwah Police Crack Down On Drunk Driving
‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ will provide for extra patrols on Mahwah roads
After police reported a high number of drunk driving arrests in Mahwah throughout the first six months of the year, the township’s police department is receiving extra funding to increase patrols in an attempt to curb impaired driving.
Mahwah is participating in the national ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ campaign. Sponsored by the Division of Highway Traffic Safety, the annual initiative uses DUI enforcement collections to fund increased patrols.
Mahwah Police Chief James Batelli said the enforcement effort is particularly important now because of a high number of DUI arrests made in the township so far this year.
“In 2012 the Mahwah Police Department has already made in excess of 50 driving while intoxicated arrests, which demonstrates the continued need for proactive patrols,” he said. “A D.W.I. checkpoint held in late spring also resulted in a number of arrests for driving while impaired and narcotics possession.”
The MPD participates in the ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ program two times each year, Batelli said – at the end of the summer, and around the holidays.
“The Mahwah Police believe very strongly that the key to deterring impaired driving is high visible enforcement,” Batelli said. “Prevention of impaired driving and not necessarily arrest is the goal of the campaign, but obviously these additional patrols have proven effective in detecting and arresting impaired drivers.”
'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over' violators “can lose their licenses, time away from their jobs, and lose money in high fines and court costs, as well as face imprisonment for repeat offenses, and assault and vehicular manslaughter charges if they are involved in an injury accident,” Batelli said.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, almost 900 people have been killed in drunk driving accidents during Labor Day weekends over the past five years. A NHTSA study found that in 2010, 10,228 people were killed in drunk driving incidents, the equivalent of one death every 51 minutes. “During the same time period, more than two thirds of drunk driving deaths involved drivers with a blood alcohol concentration of .15 or higher,” the Division found.
"The latest numbers tell us people are not only making poor decisions and drinking and driving – they are getting deeply intoxicated before getting behind the wheel,” said NHTSA Administrator David L. Strickland said in a release about ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.’
The campaign will run in Mahwah through mid-September, and again during the holidays.