Lacey Township— The enforcement of the impaired driving laws is a high priority for the Lacey Township Police Department. The danger presented to the public by motorists who knowingly choose to get behind the wheel of a vehicle while impaired is all too often realized through one tragic incident after another. In 2014, Lacey Township experienced three fatal motor vehicle crashes with two of the three fatalities directly due to impaired drivers recklessly operating vehicles. In the two separate crashes, the people who died were innocent victims unrelated and unassociated with the impaired driver. In both crashes, the impaired drivers walked away uninjured while the lives of the families of the victims were changed forever. Many nonfatal crashes throughout 2014 also involved the presence of alcohol and/or drugs as a contributory factor in the motor vehicle crashes.
The Lacey Township Police Department has averaged over 110 DUI convictions per year through diligent enforcement efforts, detailed investigations, and very effective prosecutions. While the penalties for a DUI offense are severe and pose a great hardship to the offender and his or her family, that hardship pales in comparison to the negative impact DUI offenses have on innocent victims and their families. Many of the DUI arrests in 2014 were the result of officers responding to motor vehicle crashes only to find that the person responsible was operating their vehicle DUI.
Throughout 2015, the patrol officers of the Lacey Township Police Department will continue to detect and deter DUI offenders through both focused patrols and approved checkpoints. While DUI enforcement is a department-wide and consistent effort involving all patrol officers, the police department currently has two of the most experienced and knowledgeable Drug Recognition Experts (DREs) in the county. Both officers serve a vital function in ensuring accountability when an offender is impaired due to drugs rather than alcohol. The county-wide DRE program includes a shared services agreement which allows for a Lacey Township Police Department DRE to assist other towns throughout the year as well. The additional experience each DRE achieves through the extra exposure under the shared services agreement has proven to be a great benefit to our efforts here in Lacey Township.
The police department will once again be working with our partners in law enforcement throughout Ocean County to conduct roving DUI patrols along with specially designed and planned DUI checkpoints. Specifically dedicated grant funds allow for the additional focused DUI enforcement details throughout the year. The intent of the extra efforts which are specifically focused on DUI enforcement is to make the roadways in Lacey Township as safe as possible for the motoring public. Deterrence is the primary objective of the police department’s efforts. Ideally, through additional awareness and deterrence, potential DUI offenders will make the choice to not get behind the wheel and potentially save a life in the process.
– Chief David A. Paprota, Ed.D.
Everyone can contribute to the effort to reduce incidents of DUI.
Consider the following:
- Take mass transit, a taxicab, or ask a sober friend to drive you home.
- Spend the night where the activity or party is held.
- If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact law enforcement. Your actions may save someone’s life, and inaction could cost a life.
- Always buckle-up, every ride. It’s your best defense against an impaired driver.
- If you are intoxicated and traveling on foot, the safest way to get home is to take a cab or have a sober friend or family member drive or escort you to your doorstep.
- Be responsible. If someone you know is drinking, do not let that person get behind the wheel.