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Impaired-driving enforcement campaign encourages sober driving

Stay safe on the roads during winter holidays

Before and during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, law enforcement officials throughout Michigan are participating in the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign. To protect lives, there will be increased patrols on roads from December 15, 2023, to January 1, 2024, with zero tolerance for those who drive impaired.

Throughout 2022 in Michigan, there were 9,331 alcohol-involved crashes with 322 fatalities, and 2,452 drug-involved crashes with 249 fatalities statewide, according to the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute. 

That is why, over the 2023 winter holidays, the Michigan State Police, county sheriff offices and municipal police agencies across Michigan are encouraging motorists to celebrate safely and make smart driving decisions. During the nearly three-week period, there will be increased enforcement and messaging about the dangers of driving impaired. 

“Driving impaired is deadly and illegal. Getting behind the wheel of a vehicle after you’ve been drinking or using drugs endangers you, your passengers and everyone else on the road,” said Katie Bower, Director of the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP). “The aim of the enforcement campaign is to drastically reduce deaths and serious injuries caused by impaired driving.

“We want all Michiganders to have a great time with friends and family over the holidays, but to keep everyone safe, we are also urging people to be responsible, make smart choices and plan for a sober ride home.”

From 2018 to 2022, during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, 66 people were killed in traffic crashes in Michigan, including 17 people who died in alcohol-involved crashes.

Officers will be on the lookout for motorists under the influence of drugs and/or 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 thinks they are impaired. 

To increase awareness and encourage safe and sober driving, the OHSP is funding a statewide media campaign about the dangers of impaired driving. Also, December has been recognized as National Impaired Driving Prevention Month to remember those who lost their lives due to impaired driving and remind people that helping prevent impaired-driving deaths and injuries is every driver’s responsibility. 

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.