By John Burton
TRENTON – The state Division of Highway Traffic Safety has made nearly $700,000 in grants available to local police departments to crack down on drunken drivers between now and Labor Day weekend.
The $686,400 in grants is to support the statewide “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” initiative, helping underwrite staffing costs for added patrols and sobriety checkpoints.
The initiative will run from Friday through Sunday, Sept. 2. A total of 156 law-enforcement agencies have received $4,400, including 10 police departments in Monmouth County.
“We want to remind everyone that getting behind the wheel drunk is a terrible idea,” Acting Division Director Gary Poedubicky said in a released statement.
During the 2011 Labor Day weekend, 138 people were killed nationwide in traffic crashes involving drivers or motorcycle riders with a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher, according to highway safety division figures.