Category Archives: Middlesex County

MADD Testifies in Favor of Lifesaving Ignition Interlock Legislation

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) will testify before the Assembly Appropriations Committee urging their support of A 1368 on Monday, June 23rd at 9 AM. A 1368, introduced by Assemblywoman Stender, will require ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers, including all first-time offenders. Similar legislation has been passed in 23 states and these states have recognized a significant reduction in drunk driving deaths.

“MADD believes ignition interlocks for all offenders is the best solution to eliminate drunk driving across the Nation. New Jersey lawmakers have the opportunity to advance this lifesaving legislation that will protect the public from drunk drivers,” said MADD New Jersey Volunteer and National Board Member Steven Benvenisti, Esq., Partner at Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, PC, who was almost killed by a drunk driver when he attended The College of New Jersey.

Drunk driving is a violent crime. And, drunk deaths are 100 percent preventable. Yet in 2012, 164

people in New Jersey were killed in crashes caused by a drunk driver—representing 28 percent of all traffic fatalities. In addition to the extraordinary emotional burden for victims, drunk driving deaths are an unnecessary economic hardship for New Jersey, costing the state and taxpayers $1.1 billion in 2012.

Research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found that (1) requiring interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers saves lives and is effective in reducing drunk driving recidivism by 67 percent; (2) license suspension alone is no longer a practical way to deal with drunk drivers, as 50 to 75 percent of convicted drunk drivers will continue to drive even with a suspended driver’s license; and (3) first-time convicted DUI offender is not a first time drunk driver

but rather has driven drunk at least 80 times prior to being arrested.

Currently in New Jersey, interlocks are required for all repeat and first-time convicted drunk drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15 or greater.  Passage of A 1368 would require a first-time convicted drunk driver with a BAC of .08 to .14 to use an ignition interlock for a period of three to twelve months unless a Judge determines that aggravating factors dictate that a license suspension would be more appropriate.  The last third of the time on the interlock must be violation free or the offender will have the time on the interlock extended. A 1368 will help change behavior separate alcohol from driving. Interlocked offenders are able to their jobs and provide for their families.

“MADD’s number one legislative priority is to pass lifesaving laws to ensure the public’s safety and eliminate drunk driving. A 1368 makes sense, ignition interlocks for all offenders will save lives,” continued Benvenisti.

States that are enforcing all-offender ignition interlock laws, such as Arizona and Oregon, have seen a reduction in DUI deaths by 43 to 42 percent, largely due to these comprehensive laws requiring all drunk drivers to receive an interlock.

For more information on interlocks, please visit madd.org/interlock.

About Mothers Against Drunk Driving

Founded in 1980 by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to protect families from drunk driving and underage drinking. With the help of those who want a safer future, MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® will end this danger on America’s roads. And as one of the largest victim services organizations in the U.S., MADD also supports drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge, serving one person every 8.6 minutes through local MADD victim advocates and at 1-877-MADD-HELP.  Learn more at www.madd.org  or by calling 1-877-ASK-MADD.

 

Ocean Co. Literacy Group Merges With “Literacy New Jersey”

Adults in New Jersey who cannot read a medicine bottle, menu or even a street sign are served by the statewide educational non-profit organization, “Literacy New Jersey”, which has announced a merger with six local literacy groups. To make the statewide organization Literacy New Jersey a stronger force in serving functionally illiterate adults throughout the state, the groups Literacy Volunteers of New Jersey, Literacy Volunteers of Mercer County, Literacy Volunteers of Burlington County, Literacy Programs of New Jersey, Literacy Volunteers of Union County, Literacy Volunteers of Ocean County, and Literacy Volunteers of Gloucester County have joined Literacy New Jersey as one network.

 

Volunteer tutors from Literacy New Jersey make it possible for adults – especially from underserved populations — to learn to read, write and speak English. Nearly 8,000 students received free services from Literacy New Jersey and their 21 affiliated programs in 2012-2013.

 

It is estimated that 17% of adults in New Jersey are low literate. Illiteracy is a devastating problem, which is at the root of many social problems, including poverty, crime, unemployment, poor parenting, welfare dependency and homelessness. Adults whose lack of reading, writing and speaking skills causes them to struggle to perform the daily tasks that native English speakers take for granted: reading to their children, ordering from a menu, completing job applications and filling out medical forms.

 

“Learning to read can make a dramatic difference in someone’s quality of life,” says Elizabeth Gloeggler, CEO, Literacy New Jersey. “We match our well-trained volunteer tutors with men and women who have no where else to turn.”

 

“We share Literacy New Jersey’s mission to provide meaningful assistance to people with a limited ability to read, speak, write or understand English,“ says Harold J. Wirths, Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. “Improved literacy means improved skills that help people to market themselves to employers, to become employed and to carry out their roles, not only as workers, but also as spouses, parents and active members of our community.”

Literacy New Jersey offers free GED Preparation Classes, Citizenship Classes (for new immigrants), and ESL conversation groups (to practice English speaking skills), along with the core Basic Skills and English-as-a-Second Language Programs. The Basic Skills Program helps adult students with learning disabilities or other significant challenges, and serves a population with limited educational options.

More than 2,500 men and women volunteer on a regular basis with Literacy New Jersey. They receive training on principles of adult education, teaching reading, lesson planning, teaching small groups, and motivation skills for tutors. Literacy New Jersey staff match tutors with adult students seeking help, ensuring quality service for the student and support for the volunteer tutor.

The new organization is headed up by Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Gloeggler of Montvale, NJ; Chief Operating Officer Jessica Tomkins of Milltown NJ; Ocean County Executive Director Charlotte Fahey of Whiting, NJ; Gloucester County Executive Director Trudy Lawrence of Clementon, NJ; Burlington County Executive Director Sheri Churchill of Medford, NJ; Mercer County Executive Director Cheryl Kirton of Newtown, PA; and Middlesex County Program Coordinator Melissa Cohen of Highland Park, NJ.

Literacy New Jersey’s merger was supported by: The Community Foundation for NJ, Pro Bono Partnership, Lowenstein Sandler LLP, The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration, The Karma Foundation and The Support Center for Nonprofits.

About Literacy New Jersey

Founded in 1979 and funded by government grants and donations, Literacy New Jersey is a statewide non-profit network helping adults change their lives through literacy. The organization advocates for and educates about adult literacy, providing resources to adult learners throughout New Jersey. For more information or to volunteer, call 800-848-0048 or visit http://www.literacynj.org/

 

Office locations:

 

Headquarters

Literacy New Jersey

224 Main Street

Metuchen, NJ 08840

Tel: 800-848-0048

http://www.literacynj.org/

 

Burlington County

P.O. Box 2746

Willingboro, NJ 08046

609-877-5566

schurchill@literacynj.org

www.burlcoliteracy.org

 

Gloucester County

Woodbury Child Development Center
36 Carpenter St.
Woodbury, NJ 08096

856-218-4743

tlawrence@literacynj.org

www.literacyvgc.org/

 

Mercer County

3535 Quakerbridge Road

Suite 104

Hamilton, NJ 08619

609-587-6027

ckirton@literacynj.org

www.mercerliteracy.org

 

Middlesex County

380 Washington Road

Suite F

Sayreville, NJ 08872

732-432-8000

mcohen@literacynj.org

www.lpnj.org

 

Ocean County

c/o Ocean County Community College

P.O. Box 2001

Toms River, NJ 08754

732-864-9646

cfahey@literacynj.org

www.literacy-oc.org

 

Union County

121-125 Chestnut Street

Suite 203

Roselle, NJ 07203

908-486-1777

egloeggler@literacynj.org

www.lvaunion.org

 

 

Literacy New Jersey Affiliates:

 

Atlantic County

LVA-Cape-Atlantic, Inc.

 

 

Bergen County

LV-Bergenfield

LV-Englewood Library

LV-Pascack

Project Literacy of Greater Bergen County

 

 

Camden County

LVA-Camden County 

 

 

Cumberland and Salem Counties

 LV-Cumberland/Salem Counties

 

 

Essex County

LV-Bethany

LVA-Essex & Passaic Counties

LVA-Essex & Passaic Counties

 

 

Hudson County

Jersey City Library Literacy Program

LV-West Hudson

 

 

Hunterdon County

Hunterdon Helpline Literacy Services

 

 

Monmouth County

LV-Monmouth County

 

 

Morris County

LV-Morris County

 

 

Somerset County

LV-Somerset County

 

 

Sussex and Warren Counties

LV-Sussex County

 

 

Union County

LV-Plainfield Public Library