New Tool for Police in Ocean County [AUDIO]
The start of the busy summer travel season gets underway this weekend and while the annual trek to the Jersey Shore begins, Ocean County law enforcement will be ready with its annual countywide DWI checkpoint program.
This year, each checkpoint will have two drug recognition experts to detect those under the influence of narcotics.
"With the increase in the number of motorists on the roadway, we have to be vigilant and we have to step up our game to make sure motorists remain safe," said Al Della Fave, spokesman for the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office. "Checkpoints will be the order of the day, but we will also have roving patrols for those who try to outsmart the checkpoints. The drug recognition experts will also be on hand to stop those folks who are impaired as a result of narcotics, not just alcohol."
Each year, impaired drivers are responsible for about one third of the deaths occurring on Ocean County roadways. Last year alone, Ocean County had 112 drug overdose deaths and 51 traffic fatalities, which was the second highest number in the state.
"It's no secret that we've had a high number of overdose deaths and that we've increased our arrests and seizures with regard to narcotics, specifically heroin. The heroin in our area is the purest and the cheapest in the nation and it has really been on the increase," Della Fave said. "These drug recognition experts will be tremendous in terms of adding coverage to our county so that there is a DRE available any time day or night to respond."
The stepped up enforcement will continue throughout the summer.
"We'll do our part, but we're asking the motoring public to do their part and operate responsibly, give themselves plenty of time and avoid operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol," Della Fave said.