If you’re planning to drink on New Year's Eve, state officials are encouraging you to make a plan to get home safe and sound.

Flickr User Hakee Chang

“Plan to go out with a designated driver or take mass transit or a taxi, or if you can, spend the night, rather than getting behind the wheel," said Gary Poedubicky, acting director of the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 10,322 people died nationwide in drunk driving crashes in 2012, which is an increase of 4.6 percent from 2011 when 9,865 persons were killed.  In New Jersey, there were 164 drunk driving deaths in 2012, down from 193 in 2011.

Poedubicky said local law enforcement agencies will be on the roads cracking down on drunk drivers as part of the state’s “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” mobilization. The campaign has provided federal grants of $4,400 to 166 law enforcement agencies throughout the state to implement the impaired driving enforcement initiative. Officers will be conducting saturation patrols and sobriety checkpoints, looking for motorists who may be driving while intoxicated.

The Division has the following advice to ensure a safe and enjoyable holiday season:

  • If you’ve consumed alcohol, even just one drink, take mass transit, a taxi or ask a sober friend to drive you home.
  • Report impaired drivers to law enforcement. In New Jersey, drivers may dial #77 to report a drunk or aggressive 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 escort you safely to your doorstep.
  • Always buckle up, every ride, regardless of your seating position in the vehicle. It’s the best defense against an impaired driver.