During the weeks leading up to Labor Day, the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign took place all over Michigan. Officers from multiple agencies, including the Michigan State Police and local agencies across our state all participated. The results were interesting. It appears that while there were a surprising number of arrests, the number of fatalities were actually lower than in previous years.
According to Michigan State Police reports, during this same window of time in 2015, there were a total of 15 fatalities on Michigan roads, two thirds of which involved alcohol. This year the numbers are different, and much better! State police say that this year’s Labor Day DUI crackdown showed only nine deaths, with only one of those involving alcohol.
According to Melody Kindraka, with the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning, the number of drunk driving arrests during the crackdown totaled 349. This is apparently consistent with the figures from previous years, meaning that there wasn’t the hoped for decrease in DUI arrests. But the reduced number of deaths is encouraging nonetheless.
In addition to the Operating While Intoxicated arrests made during this time, law enforcement also issued almost 4,000 tickets to drivers caughts without seat belts and proper child restraints. They also made 141 drugged driving arrests. The campaign was extensive, involving 150 law enforcement agencies across 83 counties in Michigan.
Although these type of campaigns, which cost the state a significant amount of money, Michael Prince says it’s worth every penny. Prince, Director of Michigan Officer of Highway Safety Planning, pointed out that many law enforcement officers spent the holidays working instead of spending time at home with their families. The investment, he insists, is worth it, both financially and from a time standpoint to Michigan residents.
In 2013 Governor Snyder signed Michigan’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP), which aims to align Michigan with “the national vision of Toward Zero Deaths.” This most recent campaign, which was supported by federal fund assigned by Michigan Office of Highway Safety Patrol to pay for extra patrols, was a part of the SHSP effort.
While we are pleased to see that there has been an increase in driver safety on Michigan’s roads and a reduction in alcohol-related fatalities, we understand that people sometimes make bad choices. If you or a loved one have been arrested for drunk driving, contact us immediately. We have decades of experience successfully defending drunk drivers in courts all over the lower peninsula of Michigan. We can help you too.