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Nearly 15,000 vehicles stopped during end-of-summer crackdown

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Officers from 150 local police departments, sheriff’s offices and the Michigan State Police posts stopped 14,876 vehicles, arrested 169 drunk drivers and issued 4,507 seat belt and child restraint citations during the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over crackdown. The stepped up drunk driving and seat belt enforcement began Aug. 15 and ran through the Labor Day holiday weekend.

“Dedicated officers from police agencies across the state are committed to helping motorists get home safely by taking a zero tolerance approach to drunk driving,” said Michael L. Prince, director of the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP). “Motorists were warned to drive sober or get pulled over, and more than 150 drivers failed to heed that advice.”

A driver was arrested in Genesee County for a 0.34 percent blood alcohol content (BAC). That driver also had a restricted license and an arrest warrant from two previous drunk driving incidents. In Muskegon County, a driver and passenger were stopped for smoking marijuana with a 7-month-old child in the vehicle. One traffic stop in Wexford County resulted in three fugitive arrests.

During the three-week effort, officers also issued 1,192 citations for speeding, 550 citations for driving with a suspended license and 877 citations to uninsured motorists. Officers arrested 243 fugitives and made 277 other misdemeanor arrests. Of the 169 arrests for drunk driving, 37 had a BAC of 0.17 percent or higher.

According to preliminary reports, there were three traffic fatalities during the 2014 Labor Day holiday period; one involved alcohol. Ten people died in crashes during the 2013 Labor Day holiday weekend. Three of those deaths involved alcohol and one vehicle occupant was not buckled up.

OHSP coordinated the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement by administering federal traffic safety funds to police departments covering 40 counties.

Grant-funded seat belt and drunk driving enforcement is part of Michigan’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan signed by Gov. Rick Snyder in February 2013.

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