The holiday season is a celebratory time for many individuals and families. It’s also one of the deadliest stretches of the year for anyone on the road. The month of December, particularly the period between Christmas and New Year’s Day, often sees a high number of drunk driving-related deaths.

This stark reality is the reason law enforcement agencies step up DWI patrols during this period, part of a campaign known as “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.” Here is what to expect.

Extra attention on drivers

The “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, at its most basic level, means more scrutiny of drivers on the road than normal. Law enforcement agencies around the state are encouraged to spend extra resources cracking down on suspected impaired driving as a way to deter the behavior.

For example, last year the campaign ran from Dec. 7, 2018, through Jan. 1, 2019. A total of 372 local law enforcement agencies participated, with about 43% receiving extra funding to pay for overtime while the rest stepped up their efforts using their own resources. The State Police also took part.

In total, this campaign netted 1,269 driving while intoxicated (DWI) arrests across the state – meaning 1,269 individuals suddenly found themselves facing criminal charges.

In Morris County alone, law enforcement agencies made 89 DWI arrests (Mount Olive had the most of any individual city within the county, with 12) while ticketing hundreds more for violations including:

  • Speeding
  • Careless driving
  • Driving and texting
  • Driving with a suspended license

An arrest is not a conviction

While state agencies like to publish raw numbers as a way to show effectiveness, there is often more to the story. For example, what are the chances every one of those 1,269 individuals arrested for DWI was actually guilty?  From officers not following proper procedures, to faulty blood alcohol concentration tests, to outright errors, some drivers whose nights ended in handcuffs may not have been guilty of what they were accused of.

The good news is, with a strong defense at your side it is possible to not only fight a DWI case, but potentially minimize its impact on your life by getting the charges reduced or thrown out.

Law enforcement has a responsibility to keep the people safe, and drunk driving crackdowns are a part of that. But that does not mean they can ignore a person’s rights or contradict clear evidence.