The New Jersey State Police Reminds Everyone
Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over
West Trenton, N.J. - Labor Day weekend is coming up. For many Americans, that means an extra day off,
backyard and beach barbecues, and visiting friends and family. Unfortunately, it also means a sharp increase in
drunk-driving-related fatalities. So starting August 15 and continuing through September 1, state and local police
will be aggressively targeting drunk drivers as part of a nationwide effort to end drunk driving and save lives.
The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign will pair increased public awareness with high-visibility enforcement,
resulting in fewer drunk drivers on New Jersey roads.
In 2012, there were 10,322 people killed in drunk-driving crashes in the United States. Over Labor Day weekend that
year, more than a third (38%) of all traffic fatalities were in drunk-driving crashes. These grim facts should speak for
themselves, but they haven’t gotten everyone’s attention yet.
Over the Labor Day weekend in 2012, there were 147 people killed in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes across the
country. And here’s a staggering statistic: out of all the crash fatalities that weekend, one in four (25%) were
attributed to drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15 or higher—almost twice the legal limit in all
50 states and the District of Columbia.
Every 51 minutes, someone is killed in a drunk-driving crash. Over the Labor Day weekend, those fatalities increase
to one every 34 minutes. Nighttime is especially dangerous; almost half (46%) of the fatalities in nighttime
(6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m.) crashes over the Labor Day weekend involved a driver with a BACs of .08 or higher. By comparison,
25 % of the fatalities in daytime fatal crashes involved an impaired driver.
Young drivers are overrepresented in drunk-driving crashes, too. Among young drivers—between the ages of 18 and
34— killed in motor vehicle crashes during the 2012 Labor Day weekend, almost half (48%) had a BAC of .08 or higher,
which is the legal limit in all states. For drivers under 21, anything above a BAC of .00 is illegal.
"Driving drunk is totally inexcusable," said Colonel Rick Fuentes, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police.
"We're hoping that New Jersey drivers get the message and take some simple steps to prevent a tragedy."
"There's always another way home. The New Jersey State Police is reminding drivers to plan ahead and designate a
sober driver before attending any events where alcohol will be served. Planning a sober ride home, whether it’s a
friend, a taxi, or public transportation, is the right choice," added Superintendent Fuentes.
This Labor Day weekend don’t let the festivities turn into fatalities. Remember that aside from the obvious
risks of killing yourself or someone else, driving impaired can also lead to serious punitive consequences. If
you’re caught driving drunk, you will be arrested. A DWI arrest can mean time in jail, loss of your license, and
steep financial expenses; the average DWI costs about $10,000.
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