Township police arrest six drunk drivers last weekend

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:47

    WEST MILFORD—Six drunk drivers were arrested last weekend in West Milford in six separate incidences. Three of those arrested were involved in accidents, none with serious injuries. The remaining three were originally pulled over for driving erratically. Why so many? No, West Milford has not suddenly become the party capital of New Jersey. The fact is that the majority of drivers who are impaired do not get caught. In 2002, about 1.5 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. That's slightly more than one percent of the 120 million self-reported episodes of alcoholnimpaired driving among U.S. adults each year, as reported by the National Center for Injury Prevention and control. "Our officers are very diligent," said Police Chief James Dykstra. "Drunk driving is a big priority for us because of the hazards and risks involved." Most people have had the experience of driving behind someone who doesn't seem to have control of their vehicle — crossing over the center line and then to the right edge of the road, or perhaps their speed is highly inconsistent. Dykstra strongly urges you to report those drivers immediately. "It's very helpful when citizens call in erratic drivers. They should utilize the 911 system. I consider erratic driving an emergency." And he knows what he's talking about. Dykstra's 40 years on the force has unfortunately made him witness to more than 50 fatalities, many of them alcohol related. According to the National Highway Transportation and Safety Board, New Jersey was the sight of 275 alcohol-related traffic fatalities in 2003. (Figures for 2004 are not complete yet). This represents 37 percent of all the traffic fatalities in the state. There were a total 177 DWI arrests in West Milford in 2004.