Fourth of July Drunk Driving Crackdown Underway; Roster features law enforcement 'all-stars'Contact: Melody Kindraka, OHSP, Kindrakam@michigan.gov, 517-241-1522Agency: State Police
July 1, 2014
While some drunk drivers believe they are able to get home "safe," law enforcement "all-stars" will be stepping up drunk driving patrols for the next two weeks as part of a statewide Fourth of July drunk driving crackdown. Impaired drivers should expect to be ejected from the game and in the back of a patrol car heading to jail.
Events today at Comerica Park in Detroit and Cooley Law School Stadium in Lansing officially opened the two-week season.
Officers, deputies and troopers who work the federally funded drunk driving patrols are all specially trained in Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (SFST). SFST-trained officers complete 24 hours of lecture and hands-on instruction in comprehensive impaired driver detection.
The law enforcement ranks also include officers who have been recognized by MADD Michigan with the organization's annual Lifesavers Award. These All-Star law enforcement officers are honored for efforts in education, prevention, policy or enforcement that work to reduce impaired driving deaths and injuries.
"The officers, deputies and troopers working the dedicated drunk driving patrols are truly major leaguers, the power hitters," said Michael L. Prince, director of the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP). "They are highly trained to look after MVPs. And by that I mean Most Valuable People, our family and friends."
In 2013, MADD Michigan recognized 16 law enforcement officers and four agencies with Lifesavers Awards. A first-time award, the Olivia Cleveland Gratitude Award, was also presented to two deputies.
The Fourth of July crackdown will involve nearly 150 agencies in 26 counties, from the Upper Peninsula to metro Detroit. Grant-funded counties are: Allegan, Berrien, Calhoun, Chippewa, Delta, Eaton, Genesee, Grand Traverse, Houghton, Ingham, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Kent, Livingston, Macomb, Marquette, Monroe, Muskegon, Oakland, Ottawa, Saginaw, St. Clair, Van Buren, Washtenaw, Wayne and Wexford.
During last year's Fourth of July drunk driving crackdown, 115 motorists were arrested for drunk driving as a result of extra patrols. There were 19 traffic deaths over that holiday period; more than 40 percent of those deaths involved alcohol.
In Michigan, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher. Under the state's high BAC law, motorists face enhanced penalties if a first-time arrest is for a .17 BAC or higher.
This project is part of Michigan's Strategic Highway Safety Plan signed by Gov. Rick Snyder in 2013.
Meet Michigan's Impaired Driving Enforcement All-Stars