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December 2019: Impaired Driving Prevention Month
December 01, 2019
WHEREAS, the use of alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs can affect the brain by impairing motor skills, reaction time, and judgment, which are all critical while driving; and,
WHEREAS, impaired driving is a public health concern because it not only puts the driver at risk, but also endangers the lives and safety of passengers and others sharing the road; and,
WHEREAS, in 2018 in Michigan, of the 905 fatal crashes that occurred, 31.7 percent involved alcohol and 12.5 percent involved both drinking and drugs, according to the Michigan State Police (MSP); and,
WHEREAS, Michigan experienced a steady increase over the last few years in the number of fatal crashes involving impaired drivers, with 247 drug-related traffic fatalities in 2018 alone; and,
WHEREAS, MSP has implemented a drug testing pilot program, in which police officers known as “drug recognition experts” will ask a driver to submit to a roadside drug test of the driver’s saliva based on the driver’s behavior, and will find out within five minutes if he or she has a substance in their system; and,
WHEREAS, our state’s decision to expand this pilot program from five counties to statewide will help determine the usefulness of this tool for law enforcement, in order to substantially decrease the number of impaired drivers on our roads; and,
WHEREAS, through the exercise of good judgement, personal responsibility, and a commitment to never drive while under the influence of alcohol, every community member can play a role in the fight against impaired driving due to drunk, drugged, and distracted driving; and,
WHEREAS, during this month, which is described by National Association of Drug Court Professionals as one of the most deadliest and dangerous time on American’s roadways due to an increase in impaired driving, we must all recognize the danger impaired driving can pose on the drivers, passengers, and all the others sharing the road, and encourage our communities to identify, develop, and promote solutions to this critical issue that takes away thousands of lives every year;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Garlin Gilchrist II, lieutenant governor and acting governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim December 2019 as Impaired Driving Prevention Month.