KEYPORT — Traffic came to a halt on Route 36 shortly after 11 p.m. Friday. The motorists caught in the jam were snared in the net of the now routine drunk driving check points throughout Monmouth County.
It’s a targeted enforcement aimed at deterring drunk drivers from hitting the streets, said Chief George Casaletto.
The county task force, commanded by Brielle Police Chief Michael W. Palmer, in Keyport pulled officers from Keyport, Union Beach, Manasquan and even far flung Allentown.
About 700 motorists on average wind their way through each of the check points. The number of drivers that came through Friday night, and the number of people detained for drunk driving or other offenses was not immediately available.
The Road Block program, funded by the state Diviision of Highway Traffic Safety, Friday coincides with another drunk driving enforcement program, the national Drive Sober, Get Pulled Over campaign. The latter puts added officers on patrol to specifically target drunk drivers.
Nearly 10,000 people die in traffic accidents involving a drunk driver, according to Drive Sober campaign figures. To put that in perspective, the estimated combined population for Keyport and Union Beach is about 12,000.
So far, about 10 percent of the traffic accidents in Keyport have involved a drunk driver: 21 out of 215, Casaletto said.
There have been no fatalities.