Consider it a warning and a gift at the same time. Ocean County law enforcement officials send teams onto Route 539, one of its most dangerous highways, to set up Saturday-night DWI checkpoints.

Ocean Co. Prosecutor Joseph Coronato (fifth from right) and Route 539 safety patrols (Ocean Co. Prosecutor's Office)

The checkpoints will be in Plumsted, said County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato, whose officers are already collaborating with local departments on augmented traffic-safety patrols through August 28.

Additionally, the effort coincides with the onset of the statewide "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign, which continues through Labor Day weekend.

Prosecutor's spokesman Al Della Fave adds that, aside from corralling inattentive or aggressive drivers, the checkpoint's purpose is to detect, educate, deter, arrest and prosecute impaired drivers. In addition to alcohol impairment, officers will check for the effects of narcotics, with two drug-recognition experts at each checkpoint

Della Fave estimates that about 33 percent of the deaths on Ocean County roads each year can be traced to impaired drivers. Thirty-eight people died on Ocean County roads in 2014.

"Though our county has moved from second highest in the state for fatalities from a year ago, there is no cause for celebration," he said in prepared comments. "Even one fatality is too many."

So, you've been notified. Take no needless risks. And if you're caught, it's bad, but at least you'll live to drive again.

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