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More than 500 drunk drivers arrested 


N-MichiganStatePolice-logoduring MSP spring enforcement campaign

Law enforcement officers from police departments, sheriff’s offices and the Michigan State Police in 26 counties made 532 arrests for drunk driving during the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign March 17-April 7. Of those arrested, 78 were charged under the state’s high blood alcohol content (BAC) law with a BAC of .17 or higher.

“Enforcement efforts like this save lives by putting extra police officers on the road to stop and arrest impaired drivers,” said Michael L. Prince, Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) director. “During this campaign, these officers removed 500 impaired drivers from our roads who otherwise might have gone undetected.”

During the crackdown, officers also issued 682 citations for driving with a suspended license, 653 citations for uninsured motorists and made 350 drug arrests.

Two of the drunk driving arrests in Cass County were a result of law enforcement officers observing dangerous behavior:  crossing the center lane and disregarding a flashing red light. Law enforcement officers in Washtenaw County determined a driver was impaired by drugs, and found several bottles of prescription medication in the vehicle.

OHSP coordinated the enforcement effort, which was supported with federal funds, in Allegan, Berrien, Calhoun, Chippewa, Delta, Eaton, 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.

In Michigan, it is illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher, although motorists can be arrested at any BAC level if an officer believes they are impaired.  Motorists face enhanced penalties if arrested for a first-time drunk driving offense with a .17 BAC or higher.

Grant-funded impaired driving enforcement is part of Michigan’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan signed by Gov. Rick Snyder in 2013.

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End-of-summer crackdown nets 267 drunk drivers

Law enforcement officers arrested 267 drunk drivers during an end-of-summer drunk driving crackdown Aug. 16-Sept. 2. This includes 45 drivers arrested for a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .17 or higher under Michigan’s High BAC Law.

“Motorists were warned to drive sober or get pulled over, and more than 250 drivers failed to heed that advice,” said Michael L. Prince, Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) director. “Enforcement efforts like this save lives by putting extra officers on the road to stop and arrest impaired drivers and prevent other dangerous driving behaviors.”

A traffic stop made by Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office deputies resulted in the driver being arrested for possession of cocaine, transporting open intoxicants in a motor vehicle and improperly transporting medical marijuana in a motor vehicle. In addition, a passenger was arrested for possession of open intoxicants in a motor vehicle.

Troopers from the Michigan State Police (MSP) Tri-City Post arrested two fugitives during the crackdown, including one who had 16 outstanding arrest warrants.

This year’s crackdown also included seat belt enforcement during which officers issued 4,119 seat belt and child restraint citations. Other enforcement activity included:

2,206 other traffic citations

816 uninsured motorist citations

784 speeding tickets

556 suspended driver license citations

266 fugitives apprehended

74 drug arrests

68 texting citations

43 felony arrests

The crackdown was coordinated by OHSP and paid for with federal traffic safety funds. Law enforcement officers from 155 state, county and local agencies in 26 counties participated in the extra patrols.

Preliminary results from the MSP Criminal Justice Information Center show there were eight traffic fatalities over the Labor Day holiday weekend. Alcohol was a factor in three crashes, one crash involved a bicyclist struck by a car and two other crashes involved unhelmeted motorcyclists. During the 2012 Labor Day holiday weekend, eight people died in traffic crashes and four of those deaths involved alcohol.

This project is part of Michigan’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan signed by Gov. Rick Snyder in February.


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West Michigan officers cracking down on drunk drivers

Motorists are being warned not to let their summertime fun end with a drunk driving arrest as law enforcement agencies in 13 West Michigan counties will be cracking down on drunk drivers through additional patrols Aug. 19-Sept. 5.

The Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) is coordinating the Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest. crackdown by administering federal traffic safety funds to more than 200 agencies in 35 counties. Grant-funded counties in West Michigan are Allegan, Barry, Berrien, Calhoun, Cass, Ionia, Kalamazoo, Kent, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Ottawa and Van Buren.

“Extra officers will be out on the road, looking for drunk drivers,” said OHSP Director Michael L. Prince. “Motorists need to be aware that it’s simply not worth the risk. If they are caught over the limit, they will find themselves under arrest.”

During last year’s Labor Day drunk driving crackdown, more than 500 motorists were arrested for drunk driving and other alcohol-related offenses.

About 38 percent of all traffic fatalities in Michigan involve alcohol and/or drugs, and last year, 357 people died as a result of alcohol and/or drug-involved traffic crashes. Over the 2010 Labor Day holiday weekend, 21 people died in Michigan crashes. Ten of those fatalities involved alcohol, including five people who were killed in one crash, according to the Michigan Department of State Police, Criminal Justice Information Center.

Motorists face severe penalties for driving drunk. Those convicted of a first drunk driving offense face up to 93 days in jail, up to a $500 fine, up to 360 hours of community service, six points on a driver’s license and up to 180 days’ license suspension.

Anyone arrested for a first-time drunk driving offense with a .17 blood alcohol content or above faces increased penalties including the possible installation of an ignition interlock device preventing the car from starting if the driver has been drinking.

In addition, convicted drunk drivers 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.

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Smile—you’re on candid camera!


Pictured are Donna Webster- Foster Grandparents, Howard City Police Chief Steve DeWitt, Mike Haefner-Assoc. Pastor First Congregational Church of Greenville, and Doris Case- Montcalm County EMS Supervisor.

Underage drinkers, drunk drivers and other criminals in Montcalm County had better beware—police have a new tool in their arsenal to investigate and prosecute crime.

The Montcalm Coalition to Prevent Underage Drinking and Montcalm County Prosecutor Andrea Krause recently donated funds to purchase and distribute 24 “Scorpion” personal video cameras that officers wear on their duty uniforms.

“The cameras are about the size of a thumb and record in High Definition video. Incidents of criminal investigations such as drunken driving arrests and underage drinking can all be recorded,” explained Howard City Police Chief Steve DeWitt.

The portable devices are then easily transferred to computers for courtroom presentations and evidence.

The 24 devices will equip approximately a third of the police officers in Montcalm County. Additional funding is being sought to continue to equip all of the Officers. If you are interested in funding additional camera units, please contact Chief DeWitt of the Howard City Police Department at 231 937-4311.

The Montcalm Coalition to Prevent Underage Drinking is very active in the education of the public and students. They actively take steps to prevent the ready access of alcohol to minors and the adults who supply it. According to them, 28 percent of Montcalm County 11th graders have participated in binge drinking in the past 30 days. For more information, please visit www.mcpud.org.

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