NJ Cops to Target Underage Drinking, Drunk Driving and Fireworks

Cops to be on the lookout for fireworks from Pennsylvania this 4th of Jily weekend

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Don't get locked up. Don't drink and drive this holiday weekend.

    While many New Jerseyans will enjoy beaches, boardwalks and barbecues this July 4th weekend, police will be preoccupied with illegal fireworks, underage drinkers and drunk drivers.

    State and local police will be monitoring drivers who cross into Pennsylvania to buy fireworks, then bring them back into New Jersey, where fireworks of any type — including sparklers — are illegal.

    Possession of fireworks is a misdemeanor, but possession with intent to sell is punishable by up to 18 months in jail and a $10,000 fine.

    Each year, police confiscate between 500 to 1,000 cases of illegal fireworks.

    Police in 31 Jersey shore towns also will be participating in the "Cops In Shops" program aimed at curbing underage drinking. Under the program, police officers pose as store clerks or wait just outside liquor stores to arrest people under age 21 who buy liquor. Adults who buy for underage patrons also will be arrested.

    Penalties for underage drinking include fines and the loss of a driver's license for six months.

    The AAA New Jersey Automobile Club estimates 945,000 New Jerseyans will hit the road this weekend for holiday travel.

    Gasoline prices are up for the second week in a row, to an average of $2.61 for a gallon of regular. That's below the national average of $2.75, but still nine cents higher than a year ago.

    Four people were killed on New Jersey highways last July 4th weekend.

    "The goal we set each year is for a fatality-free holiday," said State Police Superintendent Col. Rick Fuentes. "We can only attain that goal if the motoring public adheres to the driving behaviors that constitute safe driving."

    NJ Transit is adding extra trains on Friday for the start of the July 4th holiday weekend. Extra outbound trains will operate on the Northeast Corridor, North Jersey Coast, Raritan Valley, Morris and Essex, Pascack Valley and Port Jervis lines beginning at 1 p.m.

    Extra buses will leave Port Authority Bus Terminal on more than two dozen routes starting at noon.

    On Monday, July 4th, trains will operate on a holiday schedule on all lines. Bus schedules will vary. Commuters can check individual service at www.njtransit.com.