Think zombies are scary? Those who choose to drive drunk this Halloween could find themselves facing something even more frightening – the back of a patrol car.
Law enforcement officers in 30 counties will work nearly 4,000 hours of dedicated drunk driving enforcement this Halloween weekend, paid for with more than $150,000 in federal traffic safety funds administered by the Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP).
Stepped up alcohol enforcement begins Oct. 29 and goes through Nov. 1 in West Michigan and includes Allegan, Barry, Berrien, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo, Kent, Muskegon, Ottawa and Van Buren counties.
“Officers will be out in force over the Halloween weekend. Party-goers need to have a plan to get home safely before they go out partying,” said OHSP Director Michael L. Prince. “Revelers should take a cab, designate a sober driver or spend the night so no one plays the part of a real-life drunk driver.”
A motorist convicted of drunk driving can expect to face serious consequences including up to 93 days in jail, up to a $500 fine, up to 360 hours of community service, 180 days suspension, and six points on a driver’s license. In addition, they will be subject to a $1,000 fee for two consecutive years, for a total of $2,000 in additional costs. Anyone who refuses a breath test the first time is given an automatic one-year driver’s license suspension.
In addition to being on the lookout for extra cops, all motorists are warned to keep an eye out for pedestrians. Last Halloween there were 17 pedestrian-involved traffic crashes, more than any other day of the year. Of those, three resulted in pedestrian fatalities; six were alcohol-related crashes and four involved children and teens under 17.