Extra patrols planned to help deter impaired driving

Law enforcement officers from approximately 100 police departments,  sheriff’s offices and the Michigan State Police will make impaired  driving a priority in Michigan during the enforcement crackdown which  runs Oct.18 through Nov. 4. Officers will be on the lookout for impaired  drivers and will focus attention on those counties with a high number  of fatal crashes involving drugs and alcohol.  

 “October is an  especially deadly time of year for alcohol and drug related crashes,”  said Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) Director Michael  L. Prince. “We want people to enjoy fall activities such as tailgating  and Halloween parties in a safe, responsible manner. Motorists are  advised to drive sober as officers will be conducting strict, stepped up  enforcement to reduce traffic crashes, fatalities, and injuries.” 

The  month of October saw the third highest number of alcohol-involved fatal  crashes in Michigan between 2011 and 2016, with 151 total. Only the  months of August (167) and July (159) saw a higher number of fatal  crashes.  

October was also the fourth highest month for the  number of drug-involved fatal crashes in Michigan during the same  six-year period, with 84 total.  

It is illegal to drive with a  blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher, although motorists  can be arrested at any BAC level if an officer believes they are  impaired.  Motorists face enhanced penalties if arrested for a  first-time drunk driving offense with a .17 BAC or higher. 

In  Michigan, impaired driving represented 45.7 percent of all traffic  fatalities in 2017. Overall, 359 people died in 2017 because of  alcohol-involved traffic crashes, an increase from 274 in 2016.  

The  impaired driving enforcement campaign is supported with federal traffic  safety funds provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the  National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and coordinated by the  OHSP.   

Photo by JESHOOTS.com from Pexels


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