Sparta cracks down on drunk driving

Sparta. According to the Sparta Police Department, many people arrested for DWI often think that they were just a little buzzed when they were significantly over the legal limit. Sparta Police Department is reminding residents to drive sober, and is taking measures to crack down on drunk driving.

| 23 Sep 2022 | 12:20

The Sparta Police Department recently completed the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign this summer, resulting in multiple DWI arrests. State grant funding allowed the department to increase its presence in the community, promote messaging encouraging locals to drive sober, and set up sobriety checkpoints.

And though the campaign ended last month, the department is determined to continue its efforts.

“The Sparta Police Department is and will continue to be very proactive when it comes to preventing and enforcing operating a motor vehicle under the influence,” said Officer Jeffrey McCarrick.

Approximately 30% of all fatal motor vehicle crashes involve an alcohol impaired driver. In 2021, there were 449 fatal crashes in New Jersey. The 2022 numbers already surpassed 2021 with 489 fatalities in the state. Only eight, however, were in Sussex County.

Moving forward, the Sparta Police Department plans to set up additional sobriety checkpoints in town. The checkpoints serve two purposes: to arrest impaired drivers, and to discourage others from getting on the road after drinking through increased visibility in the community.

During the upcoming holiday season, there are plans in place to increase police presence on the roads again to cut back on drunk driving.

How much is too much?

Those investigated for a DWI often assumed they were just a little buzzed, when they are actually well over the legal limit, explained Sparta Police Chief Neil Spidaletto.

In New Jersey, a person is guilty of drunk driving when operating a motor vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. When one’s BAC is between .08% and .10%, the offense is punishable by a three-month license suspension. If one’s BAC is above .10%, the offense is punishable by a 7 - 12 month license suspension. There could be additional penalties when one’s BAC is above .15%.

Generally, one drink containing 1.5 ounces of 80-proof liquor, 12 ounces of 5% beer, or five ounces of 12% wine will not put you over the legal limit. But for many, two drinks will. Everybody reacts differently to alcohol, and factors such as how quickly one is drinking, or whether they’re drinking on an empty stomach, can affect BAC.

Sparta Police Department wants to remind locals that buzzed driving is drunk driving, and is determined to continue keeping impaired drivers off the roads.

Local cab services:

If you have had too much to drink and don’t have a reliable ride home, the following services are available:

- Lyft

- Uber

- D.A.D.S. Taxi & Limo: 973-579-5316

- Stanhope Taxi: 908-279-9076