Many New Year's Eve celebrations will be jam-packed with food, fun and plenty of adult beverages. State Highway Traffic Safety Officials and the State Police remind you to exercise common sense. You won't be alone on the roads this holiday weekend either. Extra police patrols will be around cracking down on drunk drivers both on a state and local level.

Don't drink and drive. It's really that simple. The extra police presence will be activated starting tonight all the way till late Monday. Last December 31st, there were two fatalities on Jersey's roads as a result of drunk driving. While that seems low, State Division of Highway Traffic Safety Acting Director Gary Poedubicky says their goal is to get that number down to zero.

Poedubicky says "there really is no excuse. We all know the risks of these kinds of actions. Driving while intoxicated or even buzzed driving can kill you or someone else. This isn't new information and we continue to reinforce it. Don't do it. Make a battle plan ahead of time."

The penalties for a DUI or DWI are pretty stiff. If the authorities pull you over, you could wind up losing your license, spend time in jail and be hit with hefty fines. Police departments across the nation are using the banner "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over," and counties in New Jersey are also taking part.

"Drunk driving is an issue that affects all demographics, whether it is age, race or sex. But historically, statistics have shown that 18-34 year-old males were the major at-risk group and I believe the transition to 'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over' is another step in the right direction to reduce and eventually eliminate drunk driving in that demographic," Poedubicky said.


The Division of Highway Traffic Safety offers the following advice to ensure a safe holiday travel season for those who choose to drink alcohol:

Take mass transit, a taxi or ask a sober friend to drive you home.

Spend the night rather than get behind the wheel.

Report impaired drivers to law enforcement. In New Jersey, drivers may dial #77 to report a drunk or aggressive driver.

Always buckle up, every ride, regardless of your seating position in the vehicle. It's your best defense against an impaired driver.

If you're intoxicated and traveling on foot, the safest way to get home is to take a cab or have a sober friend or family member drive or escort you to your doorstep.