NJ police plan DWI checkpoints outside Toby Keith concert Saturday
Country music fans planning to raise their red Solo cups this Saturday for the Toby Keith concert at the PNC Bank Arts Center might want to be careful about what type of beverage they choose to fill them up.
State Police have announced that they will set up a sobriety checkpoint outside the concert, which is set for Saturday evening at 6:30 p.m. This will be the second time this month state police have announced plans to set up the checkpoints, aimed at getting drunk drivers off New Jersey roads.
According to State Police Lt. Brian Polite, the last round of DWI checkpoints resulted in five drunk driving arrests. On June 4, police pulled people into checkpoints in Maurice River Township, Cumberland County as well as Toms River in Ocean County.
"The purpose of announcing the checkpoints is to hopefully deter people from getting behind the wheel after drinking. The goal of the checkpoints is to prevent drunk drivers, not make arrests," NJ State Police said on their Facebook page.
They advise concert-goers to find a designated driver if they plan to drink during the show.
"Now, if you're wondering how you're supposed to drink all day and get out of the concert if we have a checkpoint set up, stop and take a deep breath. You're not trapped. You've some easy solutions," police said in a statement on social media. "We're announcing WHEN it's going to happen. We're announcing WHERE it's going to happen. Make arrangements to have a designated driver or arrange other transportation. Or maybe, just maybe, don't drink. Whatever you do, please don't get behind the wheel under the influence."
In 2014 — the most recent data available — there were 523 fatal crashes with 556 people killed in New Jersey, according to a State Police report. The data also shows that of those fatalities, of the fatalities, 31.3 percent had consumed alcohol to some extent and of all drivers, 12.2 percent were legally intoxicated.
Police advise motorists who see another driver on the road posing a hazard due to poor driving behaviors to call #77 from a hands-free mobile device. Authorities will ask for a description of the vehicle, occupants, location and license plate whenever possible.
Toniann Antonelli is a social content producer for NJ 101.5. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.