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.