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>Bergen County Prosecutor Announces Aggressive DWI Crackdown

>Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli announced today an aggressive campaign to combat drunk driving. Effective immediately, Molinelli will urge local police chiefs to conduct DWI checkpoints beginning this Spring. To assist them in these endeavors, Molinelli has committed as much as $200,000 of forfeited funds to pay police officer overtime incurred as a result of conducting these checkpoints. Forfeited funds are monies that are the proceeds of criminal activities that have been seized by law enforcement.

Historically, DWI checkpoints have proven to be an effective tool in combating the crisis that is drunk driving. DWI checkpoints serve two purposes. First, the unannounced and unexpected checkpoint conducted in an area where drunk drivers are believed to be, takes them off the road, punishes them and as such, saves lives. Secondly, the existence of these DWI checkpoints raises the community’s awareness of the perils of drunk driving and of law enforcement efforts to prevent terrible tragedies.

According to the statistics published by the Bergen County Office of Highway Safety, there has been a steady increase in DWI fatalities since 2005. In 2005, DWI fatalities accounted for 16% of the total fatalities within the county. In 2006, 17% of all fatalities were alcohol related and in 2007 that number skyrocketed to 24%.

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