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Impaired driving enforcement campaign encourages sober driving

The end of summer is traditionally marked by the Labor Day holiday and is a time for friends and families to enjoy pool parties, backyard barbecues and late-summer road trips. Sadly, the Labor Day holiday weekend is also one of the deadliest times of the year in terms of impaired-driving fatalities.

That is why, through the remainder of August and the 2023 Labor Day holiday weekend, the Michigan State Police (MSP), along with county and municipal police agencies across Michigan, are encouraging motorists to celebrate safely and make smart driving decisions. During a three-week period, August 10 through September 4, there will be increased enforcement and messaging about the dangers of driving impaired. 

In Michigan during 2022, there were 9,331 alcohol-involved crashes (with 322 fatalities) and 2,452 drug-involved crashes (with 249 fatalities), according to the MSP Criminal Justice Information Center.

Over the Labor Day holiday weekend periods from 2018 to 2022, there were 40 drivers killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes in Michigan. In those crashes, one-third of the drivers killed were alcohol-impaired. 

“The aim of the enforcement campaign is to drastically reduce deaths and serious injuries caused by impaired driving,” said Katie Bower, director of the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP). “This should be a time for friends and family to enjoy the final days of summer. Driving impaired is a choice. We are encouraging people to make the right choice and find a sober ride home if they plan on using an impairing substance.”  

Officers will be on the lookout for motorists under the influence of drugs and alcohol throughout the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” enforcement period. In Michigan, 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. 

Also, in Michigan during 2022:
• About 40 percent of fatalities on Michigan roadways involved alcohol and/or drugs, according to the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute.
• In all traffic crashes occurring over the Labor Day holiday period, 11 people died.
• One person was killed in an alcohol-involved crash every 27 hours.

To increase awareness and encourage safe and sober driving, the OHSP is funding a statewide media campaign about the dangers of impaired driving. 

The “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign is supported with federal traffic safety funds provided by the United States Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and coordinated by the OHSP.