The evening before Thanksgiving has become a time of heightened focus for law enforcement in the Atlantic City area looking to detain and arrest motorists for drunk driving. There are a number of factors contributing to this, including a large number of students traveling home from colleges and universities, as well as local residents taking advantage of the beginning of their long weekend to go out and party.

Nightclubs and casinos experience a heavy flow of customers, and law enforcement agencies have their eyes open for those traveling home after a night out. Statistics do show an improvement in both the number of traffic fatalities generally and the percentage of them due to alcohol use over time. In New Jersey the number of accident fatalities and the percentage of those fatalities related to alcohol consumption have both dropped significantly from years in previous decades.

Despite this decrease, law enforcement agencies still rely upon checkpoints to try to cast as wide of a net as possible to make drunk driving arrests. Rather than patrolling the highways to look out for those cars that might be swerving between lanes or driving at reckless speed, law enforcement resources spent stopping cars that show no outward signs of impaired driving.

Hopefully, you all enjoy a safe Thanksgiving holiday and were not delayed by these types of checkpoints. As the Thanksgiving holiday becomes a larger target for DUI checkpoints it joins Memorial Day, The Fourth of July and other holidays where the police expect to make additional arrests.

Press of Atlantic City “Night before Thanksgiving has become a big night for clubs … and State Police,” LEE PROCIDA, Nov. 23, 2011