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Heading to the Shore This Weekend? DWI Enforcement, Checkpoint Set for Major Artery

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Handcuffs (Shorebeat File Photo/ banspy/ Flickr)
Handcuffs (Shorebeat File Photo/ banspy/ Flickr)

As part of a month-long enforcement program, the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office will step up DWI enforcement and host a checkpoint on a busy route to the Jersey Shore this weekend.

Route 539, which connects the western portion of the state with routes 70 and 72, will be targeted by the agency for DWI enforcement, including a sobriety checkpoint this Saturday.

“The program’s design creates a force multiplier by regionalizing and supplementing local DWI enforcement,” said Al Della Fave, spokesman for the prosecutor’s office.

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While inattentive and aggressive drivers are always targets of law enforcements’ regular patrols, the purpose of these efforts is to detect, educate, deter, arrest, and vigorously prosecute impaired drivers, Della Fave said in a statement. The program targets those under the influence of alcohol, but in response to Ocean County’s drug crisis also utilizes an addition of two drug recognition experts at each checkpoint to detect those under the influence of narcotics.

The county also oversees a countywide call out system for DRE’s to respond and assist agencies in conducting evaluations of drivers suspected to be operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs

In making his announcement about the checkpoint, Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato looks to “remind drivers that an extra measure of caution and not operating under the influence can prevent tragedy.”

Each year, impaired drivers are responsible for about a third of the deaths occurring on Ocean County roadways, the statement said. Last year Ocean County had 38 fatalities on its roadways.

Officials are in the midst of a month-long effort to crack down on dangerous driving on Route 539, which has been identified as a road that is especially dangerous. The two-lane, winding road has received new safety infrastructure features in recent years, as well as more attention from law enforcement.

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