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For Immediate Release:  
For Further Information Contact:
October 17, 2005

Office of The Attorney General
- Peter C. Harvey, Attorney General
Division of Highway Traffic Safety
- Roberto Rodriguez, Director

 

Gary Myerovich
609-633-8727

 

2005 ‘You Drink and Drive, You Lose’ Crackdown Nets Record Number of DWI Arrests in New Jersey

(Trenton) - Attorney General Peter C. Harvey and Division of Highway Traffic Safety Director Roberto Rodriguez today announced that1,583 drunk drivers in New Jersey got the message from law enforcement during the‘You Drink and Drive, You Lose’ statewide crackdown that ran from August 19th to September 5th, 2005. That was the number of Driving While Intoxicated arrests made during the two-week campaign by 382 participating police agencies throughout New Jersey. Of those agencies, 100 received Division grants to cover the cost of staffing DWI checkpoints and patrols. The balance participated without grant assistance in taking a zero tolerance approach to Drunk Drivers. The Division also utilized the most extensive paid media campaign to reach the public with its message.

“With a relentless posture by law enforcement, those who would drink and drive must now think twice before making that deadly and irresponsible choice,” said Attorney General Harvey. “Our office will continue to partner with police agencies throughout the State to stop impaired drivers, with a special emphasis on the underage drinking driver.”

“This represents the most comprehensive impaired driving crackdown and the results were impressive,” said Director Rodriguez. “Alcohol-related fatalities declined for the second straight year, but with more than 17,000 impaired driving deaths nationwide in 2004, there is still much work to be done. New Jersey law enforcement is clearly committed to reducing impaired driving injuries and fatalities.”

During the two-week crackdown, a total of 50,665 summonses were issued for DWI, speeding, seat belt compliance and other citations.

97% of those surveyed indicate that impaired driving is a major threat to themselves and their families and a clear majority of Americans support tougher drunk driving laws. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that three out of 10 Americans will be involved in an impaired driving crash at some point in their lifetime.

With a successful 2005 ‘You Drink and Drive, You Lose’ crackdown, the momentum is now in place for ongoing DWI enforcement on a year-round basis.

If you are under 21, it is illegal to purchase or consume alcohol in New Jersey. Young drivers who are under the influence of alcohol have, too often, been involved in tragic fatal crashes in the Garden State. Division Director Rodriguez says that through continued public education and strict enforcement, those young motorists can make the right decision and fulfill their potential as safe and responsible drivers.

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