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.
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