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Brick Township Weekend Sobriety Checks: Quality, Not Quantity

Of the 624 drivers who passed through sobriety checkpoints in Brick Township during Thanksgiving weekend, police charged only one with driving while intoxicated. They filed separate charges against four others, wrote 24 tickets and impounded one car.

But if the return on resource investment seems low, it illustrates shrinking space under the radar in which scofflaws can fly.

Police conducted a checkpoint at Brick Township High School’s lot, using a grant from the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety. Members of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office and Manchester police also took part. The township was blanketed with roving patrols all weekend long.

Drivers were given pamphlets outlining the dangers of impaired driving and sent on their way, unless other indicators prompted officers to investigate more deeply.

According to police, Keith Horn, 28, of Point Pleasant, was the sole driver charged with DWI during the five-hour operation that started at 10 PM.

Melyssa Pcolar, 20, and Piero Quispe-Prieto,  24, both of Toms River, were charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance and possession of paraphernalia. so was Ray Gonzales, 24, of Lakewood.

Christopher Allan, 32, of  Lanoka Harbor, was charged with failure to appear to answer a traffic summons.

Looking at it another way, 80 percent of those charged weren’t noticeably driving in impaired circumstances. The ratio of summonses to suspects was nearly five to one.

The bottom line is that driving carefully is only one part of the equation. Visible vehicle problems that carry potential safety issues, failure of anyone in the car to strap on a seat belt, any evidence of driving distractions, shading the speed limit, and weaving through traffic are just some of the obvious conditions that can trigger multiple infractions, points, and fines.

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