Make Designating a Sober Driver Your New Year's Party Resolution; Statewide Drunk Driving Crackdown Continues through Holiday Weekend
Motorists who don't want to ring in the New Year with a police siren should designate a sober driver for their holiday countdown parties.
More than 165 law enforcement agencies will continue stepped up drunk driving enforcement during the final week of the Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest. enforcement campaign through Jan. 2. The holiday enforcement initiative began Dec. 16 and is being paid for with federal traffic safety funds administered by the Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP).
"The start of a new year is a time for celebration, but remember to celebrate responsibly. If you choose to drive drunk you will be arrested," said Michael L. Prince, OHSP director. "Avoid a drunk driving arrest by resolving to designate a sober driver, take a cab or spend the night."
Officers will be on patrol in Allegan, Bay, Berrien, Calhoun, Chippewa, Delta, Genesee, Grand Traverse, Houghton, Ingham, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Kent, Livingston, Macomb, Marquette, Monroe, Muskegon, Oakland, Ottawa, Saginaw, St. Clair, Van Buren, Washtenaw, Wayne and Wexford counties.
During last year's Christmas and New Year's holiday periods, 11 people died in traffic crashes. Four of those deaths were alcohol-related. In 2010, there were 283 alcohol-related traffic deaths, a decrease of 5 percent from 2009. Although the number of alcohol-related traffic deaths declined last year, crashes involving alcohol are eight times more likely to be fatal. Alcohol-related fatalities still make up almost one-third of all traffic deaths.
In Michigan, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher, although motorists can be arrested at any BAC level if an officer feels they are impaired. Motorists face enhanced penalties if arrested with a .17 BAC or higher.
For a listing of planned enforcement times, dates, and locations, visit www.michigan.gov/ohsp.