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Police Chief: Summer Saw Many DUI Stops

Police also conducted drunk driving check point over Labor Day weekend

Toms River Police Chief Michael Mastronardy said police have seen an increase in drivers under the influence of drugs and alcohol this year.

The unofficial end of a heavy tourist season was marked by a drunk driving checkpoint off Route 37 in Toms River on Labor Day weekend, but police said the summer was notable for the number of driving under the influence arrests.

Saturday into Sunday, a drunk driving check point was conducted by police on Route 37, resulting in traffic delays into Seaside Heights over the bridge. The check points are conducted by local police as well as the county.

"The department will continue to aggressively enforce laws pertaining to driving under the influence," said Mastronardy.

The police chief said Toms River Police now has four officers specially trained to recognize drivers who might be under the influence of alcohol versus drugs. Many times, the traffic safety officers are involved.

"With the increase in drivers under the influence of drugs the Department has four Officers trained as DRE Drug Recognition Experts," he said. "The Traffic Safety unit will be conducting various programs including marked and unmarked roving patrols."

Mastronardy released information on several recent arrests made Aug. 24 involving driving under the influence. The police chief said in some cases witnesses called in to police after observing erratic driving.

"Citizens called Toms River Police communications and advised of drivers possibly being under the influence," he said. "The Department has observed a dramatic increase in the number of reports from the public advising of erratic or possible drivers under the influence of drugs and alcohol."

In 2011 for the year, 198 arrests were made for driving under the influence. With the fall the winter months left of 2012, there have been 137 arrests so far this year, said Toms River Police Chief Michael Mastronardy.

Sue September 04, 2012 at 11:17 AM
If Bennies are drunk or high heading to Sleazeside, you can imagine the trouble they'll get into when they continue abusing stuff on the beach and boardwalk -- if they don't crash into anybody on the Parkway or Rt. 37 first. Good job, TR PD!
Xavier September 04, 2012 at 11:56 AM
So they're on track to arrest about 205 people this year vs 198 last year. That doesn't seem like a huge uptick if more people are calling in to report drunk driving.
John September 04, 2012 at 01:35 PM
I'm curious how Dover PD works security in front of the Surf Club, and then the officers on the detail watch as 90% of those leaving and well over the legal limit get into their vehicles and are allowed to drive off. It's just a matter of time before a major incident occurs and is link to a patron of the Surf Club who got behind the wheel in front of the watchful eye of the Dover PD. We the tax payers will most certainly have to foot the bill!
Martin September 04, 2012 at 01:39 PM
Taxpayer John: Dover has been TR for 5 years. Wake up.
John September 04, 2012 at 03:14 PM
Martin, I know but several of the patrol cars still show Dover Twp. Just another example of wasteful spending of tax dollars with the name change! I trust you agree.
Martin September 04, 2012 at 06:03 PM
It's not wasteful spending if they're using the Dover Twp. cars until they're traded in, not re-lettering them. The people voted for the change, so I hope you're still not telling people you live in Dover. Maybe Patch can report how much the name change cost... It's "chicken-feed" compared to the real wasteful spending the politicians do every year.
Matt September 04, 2012 at 06:55 PM
Yeah, just buy brand new vehicles instead of changing a few letters on a perfectly good vehicle. That sounds cost effective...
So Much to Say September 04, 2012 at 11:20 PM
Let's give the summer BENNY's a fitting farewell. A DWI on the other side of the bridge as you come into Toms River. Let's do this every weekend. Then maybe they will NOT return. The business owners may love them but us homeowners don't. Good RIDDANCE!!!!!
piney 53 September 05, 2012 at 12:37 AM
It is not only tourists getting DUIs. I heard of a local teacher getting one this past weekend!!! Keep up the good work TRPD.
patch_reader September 05, 2012 at 02:15 AM
DWI enforcement is needed on the other side of 37. The area of the Miracle Bar.
AlphaTaxi Nj September 23, 2012 at 11:14 AM
It seems that when I see a DWI checkpoint, it USUALLY is either on the Toms River side of the bridge, or in Lavallette, both are obviously intended to get drink drivers coiing out of seaside Heights. But what gets me is...in the summer, the bars and clubs in seaside Heights are open until 4 am, but by that time, the DWI checkpoints are gone, with the exception of the major Labor Day DWI checkpoints they had in place this year...if they are going to have DWI checkpoints (and they SHOULD!!!), then why not have them until most of the traffic coming out of Seaside Heights has thinned out? Just a thought... ---alphataxicab http://thealphataxi.com
Sue September 23, 2012 at 12:56 PM
Good point! Cops would do better catching the drunks (and putting the fines in our treeasury) than investigating the accidents they can cause.

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