Starting Friday and continuing through New Year's Day, local and state law enforcement officials will be conducting sobriety checkpoints with its Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign.

There were 38,000 alcohol-involved crashes in New Jersey in the past five years, resulting in more than 700 fatalities. Last year, 20 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities in New Jersey were alcohol-related.

Gary Poedubicky, acting director of the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety, said more than 400 law enforcement agencies in the state plan to take part.

He said more than $600,000 will be distributed to 118 agencies in the form of a $5,500 grant from the Division of Highway Traffic Safety.

The campaign focused on cracking down on impaired drivers. "However, if there are other violations that they see such as lack of seat belt use, or driving while using a cell phone, those individuals will be pulled over as well," said Poedubicky.

The penalties for impaired driving are no joke, he added. They can include high fines, license suspensions and jail time.

With the holiday crackdowns, Poedubicky said there are about 1,500 arrests each year in New Jersey. There are thousands of speeding and safety belt summons issued as well.

Poedubicky had some advice for holiday drivers: Stay focused on the roads, stay off the cell phones and don't drink and drive. If you know you're going to be drinking during the holiday season, think about taking mass transit or a taxi. You may even want to consider spending the night where the party or activity is being held.

If you do see an impaired driver when you're out and about, he said to call #77 to report it to law enforcement.

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