police cruisersHolmdel, NJ— As thousands of people are preparing to make their way across New Jersey for the Thanksgiving feast this week, the Police Chiefs in the Bayshore area are urging motorists and pedestrians alike to be extra careful during one of the busiest, and most dangerous, holidays for travelers. As one of the busiest travel holidays, Thanksgiving is also one of the deadliest. Motorists navigating unfamiliar roads, often late, are more likely to crash, especially if they’ve been drinking alcohol. For college students, home on break, the night before Thanksgiving is particularly dangerous as they flock to parties and bars to reunite with old friends. Last year, motor vehicle crashes killed15 people in New Jersey during the five-day Thanksgiving holiday period, up from 10 the year before, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Six of the drivers in those crashes were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The Bayshore Task Force, comprised of police departments in Aberdeen, Atlantic Highlands, Hazlet, Holmdel, Highlands, Keyport, Keansburg, Matawan, Middletown, and Union Beach, will be deploying officers as part of a DWI Saturation Patrol during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Nine of the departments were awarded grants from the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety of $10,000 each to conduct saturation patrols. The remainder will use Drunk Driving Enforcement Funds. Additional saturation patrols will be scheduled to coincide with holidays and other periods prone to increases in DWI-related crashes.

Drivers, please follow these tips to keep the holidays safe and happy:

  • Even one drink can impair your judgment and increase the risk of getting arrested for driving drunk—or worse, the risk of having a crash.
  • If you will be drinking, do not plan on driving. Plan ahead; designate a sober driver before the party begins.
  • If you have been drinking, do not drive. Call a taxi, phone a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation.

Remember, driving after drinking should never be an option.