A DWI checkpoint operated by the Hazlet Township Police Department and the Monmouth County Sheriff's Office had to be abandoned due to heavy storms on Friday night after only 30 minutes.
The public was notified that every car passing on the eastbound side of Route 36 would be diverted to the Holy Family Elementary School parking lot between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. According to Police Lt. Al Lynch, it would be Hazlet PD's first DWI checkpoint in 15 years; and was made possible by a $4,000 state grant to cover police overtime.
A dozen uniformed officers were on the scene, as well as a state-of-the-art county Mobile Command Center Unit used to efficiently run license plates and drivers licenses through the state DMV and law enforcement databases to check for outstanding warrants and validity of drivers' licenses, registration and proof of insurance.
But instead of plates, the Mobile Unit was needed to pull up Doppler radar weather scans. With evidence there would be no let-up in the rain, Hazlet Lt. David Cohen decided to abort the DWI checkpoint out of concern for public safety. His decision was supported by DWI Task Force Commander, Brielle Police Chief Michael Palmer.
The officers got in cars and performed "rover patrols" until 3 a.m. No summonses were issued during the brief DWI checkpoint. The results of the subsequent roaming DWI patrols were not immediately available from the police department.
Working with Lt. Cohen in the DWI checkpoint were Hazlet Police Chief James Broderick; Patrol Officers William Agar Jr, Kevin Geoghan, Chris Acevedo and Michael Tristao. From the county DWI Task Force was Brielle's Chief Michael Palmer, Ptl. Dave Buckle and Sgt. James Seidel; Monmouth County Sheriff's Officer Theresa Mayer; a representative of the IDRC Intoxicated Driving Resource Center (IDRC) and the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office DWI task force.