March 15, 2016
Michigan’s 2016 Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over effort includes a new advertising campaign reminding motorists that even one wrong choice behind the steering wheel can have tragic consequences.
“Bad decisions can stick with you for many years to come,” said Michael L. Prince, director of the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP). “Drunk driving can really mess with your life, but it can end someone else’s.”
Law enforcement officers from police departments, sheriff’s offices and the Michigan State Police throughout the state are conducting extra patrols to arrest drunk drivers March 16-April 4. This period includes the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) men's and women’s basketball tournaments, many high school and college spring break periods and St. Patrick’s Day.
Family members who lost loved ones to traffic crashes caused by impaired drivers are joining the OHSP at news conferences across the state to share their stories and help launch the enforcement activities.
The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over crackdown is coordinated by the OHSP and supported by federal traffic safety funds.
“We’re encouraging motorists to make good choices and always put safety first,” said Prince. “There are many excellent options available to help motorists get home after celebrating. It makes sense to call a taxi, have a designated driver or spend the night at a friend’s house. With all these alternatives, there’s no need to put yourself or others at risk.”
In 2015, 2,182 people in Michigan were arrested for drunk driving during the NCAA tournament period. Of those, 672 were charged under the state’s high blood-alcohol content (BAC) law with BACs of .17 or higher.
In Michigan, it is illegal to drive with a 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.
Grant-funded drunk driving enforcement is part of Michigan’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan signed by Gov. Rick Snyder in 2013.
The new Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over advertisement can be viewed at Youtube.com/ohsp.