Santa isn’t the only one watching who’s naughty by drinking and driving
'Tis the season to be jolly, but before you hit the hot toddies, hand over the keys. Drinking and driving is naughty, not nice, and not only does Santa disapprove...police take an even dimmer view. And there's no fooling them.
"We want everybody to have a safe and healthy holiday season," said Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden, adding that his officers are trained to spot drivers who have had even just a tad too much before taking the wheel.
He explains that police are always on the lookout for impaired drivers and it holds especially true around the holidays with people attending parties.
Typically, we often think of an impaired, especially alcohol-laced, driver, as weaving across lanes at breakneck speeds. But the inverse is also a giveaway.
"Somebody tapping their brakes multiple times," said Golden. "Someone who, maybe, stops at a distance from a red light, or over the stop line at a red light, as well as coasting through some of those stop-signs."
There's a term for it - overcompensation. To the rest of the drivers, the overcompensator is a pest. But police see indicators of bigger problems.
"Sometimes you'll pull up along someone who has two hands on the wheel," Golden said. "They're focused solely ahead, they're driving very slow in the fast lane with a directional light kept on, or tapping their brakes repeatedly."
Golden adds that some drivers give away their inebriation when they're confused, and apparently lost, in areas they would be expected to know well.
So before you spike your egg nog this holiday season, remember that the 'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over' message is in full force. It's okay to have some fun during the holidays, being safe is even more important.
Golden and other law enforcement leaders urge you to find other means of transportation..
"Our message is, don't do it," said Golden. "There are so many alternatives."
He says that in addition to designated drivers, there are any number of cab companies, Uber and Lyft drivers, and even some hosts that will let you sleep it off at their place.
And, if you're out on the highways and you spot erratic driving, Golden says, don't hesitate to call it in.
"If they feel the person is a danger to themselves or other operators on the roads, certainly dial 9-1-1 and report that erratic driver behavior," said Golden.
New Jersey maintains the #77 line to report aggressive driving, But Golden says that 9-1-1 connects you to the closest police department, when precious seconds might count.
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