With prom season approaching and summer around the corner, the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office is warning motorists about its annual DWI checkpoint program.

Al Della Fave, the Prosecutor's Office spokesman, said alcohol is a formula for tragedy and is urging anyone who plans on imbibing not to drive.

"Use a designated driver, Uber, taxi cabs, any other form of transportation other than grabbing those keys when you're impaired and getting behind the wheel," he said.

Last year, 38 people were killed on Ocean County roads. Impaired drivers are responsible for about a third of overall deaths each year, according to Della Fave. A year ago the county ranked second highest for road fatalities; this year the county is fifth in the state.

"But, out of 21 counties, that's no number to be proud of. Even one fatality is a tragedy," he said.

County officials also have added drug recognition Experts, or DREs, to the DWI checkpoint program. Each police department will have at least drug experts at the checkpoint or on-call if needed, Della Fave said.

Another incentive not to drive impaired are the fees involved. A DWI can cost about $10,000 in legal fees and fines, and a six-month loss of a driver's license for a first offense.

The checkpoint program is funded in part by the Ocean County Freeholder Board and the state Division of Highway Traffic Safety. It will be conducted by local police agencies in conjunction with detectives from the Prosecutor's Office and the Sheriff's Department K-9 Unit.

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