Ocean County Law Enforcement Push on Route 539 Results in Tickets, Drug Arrests

The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office recently conducted a coordinated Safety/Enforcement Initiative with local police departments, county officials, and the New Jersey State Police on County Route 539, the results of which were over 100 tickets issued for traffic violations and two arrests for drug possession.

CR 539 is a two-lane highway that travels from southeast to northwest in Ocean County and is commonly used by locals, commercial trucks, and visitors to the Jersey Shore. The enforcement program began on Sunday, July 20th and continued until Sunday, August 6th. It was intended to promote safer driving on Route 539, crossing through seven municipalities over 38 miles from Tuckerton to Plumsted, including Little Egg HarborStaffordBarnegatLacey TownshipManchester, and Jackson.

During the enforcement initiative, officers and officials from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, Ocean County Sheriff’s Department, and police departments in Barnegat, Jackson, Lacey, Little Egg Harbor, Manchester, Plumsted, Stafford, and Tuckerton conducted 268 motor vehicle stops, which resulted in a total of 109 summonses issued, as well as two arrests on drug charges for possession of CDS (controlled dangerous substance).

While the most commonly issued tickets were for speeding (31), authorities were targeting a variety of motor vehicle violations, including Improper Passing, Driving under the Influence, Aggressive Driving, Improper Turning, Failing to Yield, Inattentive Driving, Disregard of Traffic Signal, Following Too Close, and commercial offenses.

Notably, those arrested for drug possession may have been charged with two separate offenses, one of which is a traffic violation, while the other is a criminal offense. In New Jersey, a driver can be charged with criminal possession of a controlled dangerous substance such as marijuana, as well as a traffic offense for possession of CDS in a motor vehicle, if police discover drugs in their car. While a charge for marijuana possession is punishable by up to 6 months in the county jail, a fine of up to $1,000, a 6-month driver’s license suspension, and a charge on your criminal record, possession of CDS in a motor vehicle entails a mandatory 2-year suspension of your driver’s license, which may be issued in addition to any penalties imposed in connection with the criminal charges.

Moreover, even seemingly minor traffic violations can bear serious consequences in New Jersey, with fines, points on your driver’s license record with the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV), increases in insurance premiums, driver’s license suspension, and in the case DWI, possible jail time. When you are issued a motor vehicle summons, it is essential understand your exposure and to find an experienced attorney who will work to minimize potential penalties.

At William Proetta Criminal Law, our criminal defense attorneys regularly defend clients charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI), possession of drugs such as heroin and drug paraphernalia, and traffic offenses such as reckless driving, in courts throughout Ocean County. If you were arrested or issued a ticket in Lacey, Little Egg Harbor, Stafford, Jackson, Manchester, or elsewhere in Ocean County, contact our offices in Toms River at (848) 238-2100 for a free consultation.

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William Proetta

With more than a decade of experience defending clients against criminal charges, founding partner William A. Proetta has successfully handled and tried thousands of cases, from DWI to murder. As a New Jersey native, he has focused his career on helping people in the area where he grew up, serving Middlesex, Ocean, Hudson, and Union counties.