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Tag Archive | "drunk driving"

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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Drive sober or get pulled over


Drunk driving crackdown kicked off in West Michigan March 12

Law enforcement agencies in 26 counties are hitting the streets to combat drunk driving during the trifecta of March Madness, spring break and St. Patrick’s Day.

Officers in Allegan, Berrien, Calhoun, Kalamazoo, Kent, Muskegon, Ottawa and Van Buren counties are conducting extra patrols to arrest drunk drivers March 12-April 7. This time period includes the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, high school and college spring break periods and St. Patrick’s Day. A five-year review of crash data indicates both alcohol use and lack of seat belts play a significant role in fatal and serious injury crashes in March and early April.

The Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) is coordinating the effort ,which is supported by federal traffic safety funds.

“If you’re out celebrating a big win or having a green beer with friends, be sure to designate a sober driver,” said Michael L. Prince, OHSP director. “Extra officers will be out on patrol, and if you’re caught driving drunk you will be arrested.”

In 2013, 2,271 people were arrested for drunk driving during the NCAA tournament time period. Of those, 671 were arrested under the state’s high blood-alcohol content (BAC) law with BACs of .17 or higher. More than 500 of those arrests were made by grant-funded law enforcement agencies during last year’s drunk driving crackdown.

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.

 

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Impaired driving deaths and injuries rise


N-Drunk-driving-auditThe Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning released statistics this week showing an increase in alcohol- and drug-related crashes, fatalities and injuries in the last year. However, a five-year picture shows an overall decline, with alcohol involvement decreasing more rapidly than drug involvement.

The 2012 Michigan Drunk Driving audit showed that traffic deaths resulting from alcohol- and/or drug-related crashes jumped 7.2 percent, from 319 in 2011 to 342 in 2012, while injuries increased from 6,086 to 6,177.  Drug involvement in traffic fatalities increased 6.3 percent, from 127 deaths in 2011 to 135 in 2012, while alcohol involvement climbed 2.6 percent, from 274 to 281. Seventy-four deaths involved both alcohol and drugs and were counted in each category.

The increases come after dramatic drops in all categories in 2011. It should be noted deaths involving alcohol and/or drugs have fallen by 9.8 percent over the past five years. Alcohol-involved traffic deaths have decreased by 11.4 percent since 2008, while drug-involved deaths have declined by 3.6 percent.

“Although 2012 saw increases in impaired driving deaths and injuries, the overall trend in Michigan is a positive one,” said Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the Michigan State Police (MSP).  “Officers in Michigan have been and will continue to make impaired driving enforcement a priority.”

The Drunk Driving Audit is an annual report issued by the MSP Criminal Justice Information Center and is a collaborative effort between MSP and the Michigan Department of State.

“While the overall decline in injuries and deaths over the last five years is encouraging, the 2012 report shows we must be vigilant and continue to educate drivers about the dangers of driving while under the influence of alcohol and drugs,” said Secretary of State Ruth Johnson. “Law enforcement does an exceptional job and our driver education partners are doing everything they can to educate drivers but it’s going to take all of us working together to save lives and make our roads safe.”

In 2012, officers made 37,182 alcohol and drug-related driving arrests. Male drivers were nearly three times as likely as female drivers to be arrested for impaired driving, with 27,606 men arrested compared to 9,576 women. There were 36,322 persons convicted of operating under the influence of liquor or other impaired driving offenses. Some of these convictions include arrests made in prior years.

The 2012 Drunk Driving Audit includes county-specific information and is available at Michigan.gov/drunkdrivingaudit.

 

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Statewide spring drunk driving crackdown results in 400 arrests


More than 400 motorists were arrested for drunk driving during a three-week impaired driving crackdown this spring. Of those arrested, 79 were charged under the state’s high blood alcohol content (BAC) law with having a BAC of .17 or higher.

Law enforcement officers from more than 165 agencies conducted stepped up enforcement aimed at curtailing drunk driving during the Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest. crackdown March 13-April 2. This resulted in 8,083 traffic stops and nearly 4,000 citations or arrests, including 281 for other alcohol- and drug-related charges such as open intoxicants.

“Michigan law enforcement agencies take drunk driving very seriously,” said Michael L. Prince, Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) director. “The increased enforcement also provided opportunities to identify other traffic safety violations and resolve unsolved cases.”

In addition to the 405 drunk driving arrests, 214 misdemeanor and felony arrests were made. Officers also issued 148 seat belt and child restraint, 722 speeding and 425 uninsured motorist citations. Five stolen vehicles were recovered, 326 drivers were found to be driving on suspended licenses and 161 fugitives were arrested during the enforcement effort. OHSP coordinated the effort, which was funded with federal highway safety grants, in 26 counties.

In Kalamazoo County, Richland Township officers stopped a suspected drunk driver. That stop resulted in several arrests including possession of drugs, open intoxicants, minor in possession charges and a confession for a recent home invasion.

In the past, OHSP funded March drunk driving efforts focused only on St. Patrick’s Day. A five-year review of crash data indicated alcohol use and failure to buckle up played a significant role in fatal and serious injury crashes during the month and into early April. March included St. Patrick’s Day, many school spring break periods and college basketball tournament games.

Grant-funded counties included: 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.

 

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Spring drunk driving crackdown


Motorists heading out to cheer on their favorite college hoops team at the local sports bar or to toast the luck of the Irish at the corner pub are reminded to design-te a sober driver before the celebration starts.

Law enforcement officers from 160 agencies are conducting extra patrols to look for and arrest drunk drivers March 13-April 2. This time period includes the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) men’s and women’s basketball tournaments as well as St. Patrick’s Day.

Agencies in 26 counties, including Allegan, Berrien, Calhoun, Kalamazoo, Kent, Muskegon, Ottawa and Van Buren, will be conducting drunk driving enforcement paid for through federal traffic safety funds administered by the Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP).

“If you’re out celebrating a big win or having a green beer with friends, be sure to designate a sober driver,” said Michael L. Prince, OHSP director. “Drunk driving is not tolerated in Michigan. Anyone caught driving drunk will be arrested. No excuses. No second chances.”

In the past, March drunk driving enforcement efforts were focused only on St. Patrick’s Day. A five-year review of crash data indicates both alcohol use and lack of seat belts play a significant role in fatal and serious injury crashes during the month and into early April.

In 2011, 2,215 people were arrested for drunk driving during the NCAA tournament time period; 613 were arrested under the state’s high blood-alcohol content (BAC) law with BAC’s of .17 or higher.

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.

 

 

 

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Holiday enforcement results in more than 300 drunk driving arrests


More than 300 motorists are starting 2012 with a budget-busting bill after being arrested during a statewide drunk driving crackdown over the holidays. Of those arrested, 38 were charged under the state’s high blood alcohol content (BAC) law with having a BAC of .17 or higher.
On average, a drunk driving arrest in Michigan costs about $15,000, including court costs, legal fees, bail, towing, license fees and increased insurance rates.
Law enforcement officers from more than 165 agencies conducted stepped up enforcement aimed at curtailing drunk driving during the Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest. crackdown Dec. 16-Jan. 2. This resulted in 7,334 traffic stops and more than 3,800 citations or arrests, including 108 for other alcohol- and drug-related charges such as open intoxicants.
The Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) coordinated the effort which was funded with federal highway safety grants in 26 counties. In addition to the 308 drunk driving arrests, 175 other misdemeanor and felony arrests were made. Officers also issued 91 seat belt and child restraint, 649 speeding and 360 uninsured motorist citations. Three stolen vehicles were recovered, 317 drivers were found to be driving on suspended licenses and 171 fugitives were arrested during the enforcement effort. During a similar effort last year that included 35 grant-funded counties, officers made 9,462 traffic stops and arrested 356 drunk drivers.
“Drunk driving is not tolerated in Michigan,” said Michael L. Prince, OHSP director. “Those motorists who made the poor decision to drive while impaired will be paying the price in 2012 and beyond.”
Preliminary reports from the Michigan State Police Criminal Justice Information Center indicate 15 people died in traffic crashes during the recent Christmas and New Year’s holidays, with four of those deaths involving alcohol. Three of those killed were pedestrians and one was a snowmobiler. This is an increase over the 2011 holiday periods when 11 people died in traffic crashes. Four of those deaths were also alcohol-related.
Grant-funded counties included: 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.

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End-of-summer crackdown nets over 200 drunk drivers


The seasons may be changing, but some Michigan motorists are still dealing with the consequences of their summer drunk driving arrest during the Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest. Statewide enforcement crackdown.
Between Aug. 19 and Sept. 5, officers conducted more than 11,300 traffic stops resulting in 230 arrests for drunk driving. This includes 34 drivers arrested for a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .17 or higher under Michigan’s High BAC Law.
“Over the Limit. Under Arrest. is designed to keep our roads safer by deterring people from driving drunk,” said Michael L. Prince, Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) director. “We use a high visibility advertising campaign and increased police presence to get the word out, because the consequences of a drunk driving arrest last long after the summer travel season.”
This year’s crackdown also included seat belt enforcement zones and patrols during which officers issued 2,530 seat belt and child restraint citations.
In addition, officers made 74 drug-related arrests and issued 835 speeding citations, as well as 2,225 citations for other traffic violations.
The crackdown was coordinated by OHSP and paid for with federal traffic safety dollars. More than 200 state, county and local law enforcement agencies in 35 counties participated in the extra patrols.
Preliminary results from the Michigan State Police, Criminal Justice Information Center show there were 11 fatalities in 10 traffic crashes over the Labor Day holiday weekend in Michigan. Four of the crashes involved alcohol and a seat belt was not used in five of the seven fatalities in passenger vehicles. This represents an over 50 percent decrease in fatalities from the 2010 Labor Day holiday weekend when 21 people died in Michigan crashes; ten of those fatalities involved alcohol.

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Drunk driving crackdown kicks off in West Michigan


Thirteen local counties step up enforcement for July 4th holiday

Summertime in Michigan means trips to the beach, barbeques and ball games, but it also means extra police officers on the road during the Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest. crackdown.

Law enforcement agencies in 35 counties across the state will work stepped up drunk driving patrols July 1-10, which will include the heavily traveled July 4th weekend.

The effort is paid for with federal funds earmarked for traffic safety enforcement and administered by the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP).

Grant-funded counties in West Michigan are Allegan, Barry, Berrien, Calhoun, Cass, Ionia, Kalamazoo, Kent, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Ottawa and Van Buren.

“While the focus of this effort is drivers under the influence of alcohol, officers will be arresting any impaired driver and removing not only drunk drivers from the roadway, but also those under the influence of drugs,” OHSP director Michael L. Prince said.

Although Michigan has experienced a decrease in alcohol-related crashes, fatalities and arrests, it has noted an increase in drug-involvement in traffic crashes and injuries. In 2009, drugs accounted for an additional 83 injuries and 89 crashes compared to 2008. In 2010, drug-involved fatalities increased by 29 percent with 153 motorists killed in crashes involving drugs. Some of that increase can be attributed to expanded testing requests.

In 2010, 357 people died in alcohol and/or drug-related crashes including two during the July 4th holiday period.

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Drive drunk if you want one of these for Christmas


Unless they want to find one of this year’s most unwanted electronic gadgets under the tree, motorists need to designate a sober driver this holiday season. Law enforcement officers across the state are taking part in a drunk driving crackdown Dec. 16-Jan. 2. Those that choose to drive drunk could find themselves the recipient of an ignition interlock to start off the new year.
More than 200 law enforcement agencies in 35 counties are conducting drunk driving enforcement during extra patrols funded by the Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) through federal traffic safety funds.
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 exhibit signs of impairment while driving. As of Oct. 31, under the new high BAC law, motorists face enhanced penalties if arrested with a .17 BAC or higher.
“The holidays are a time for family and friends to gather and celebrate,” said Michael L. Prince, OHSP director. “Help keep this festive season safe by not drinking and driving or planning ahead by designating a sober driver.”
In 2009, there were 299 alcohol-related traffic deaths, a decrease of 5.7 percent from 2008. Although the number of alcohol-related traffic deaths declined last year, crashes involving alcohol are eight times more likely to be fatal.
During last year’s Christmas and New Year’s holiday periods, 10 people died in traffic crashes. Four of those deaths were alcohol-related.
A motorist convicted of drunk driving can expect to face serious consequences including:

If convicted under Michigan’s new high BAC law, in addition to points on their driver’s license and community service, enhanced penalties for first-time drivers include:
Motorists who wish to have limited driving privileges following a 45-day license suspension may do so only after a breath alcohol ignition interlock device is installed on their vehicle. Installation and monthly fees are the responsibility of the driver.
An ignition interlock requires a driver to blow into the device and prevents a vehicle from starting if it measures a BAC of .025 or above. In addition, the device requires periodic retests when driving longer periods. The device records the date and time of each test and any violation is reported to the Department of State.
In addition, all convicted drunk drivers are 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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Stepped up drunk driving patrols honor victims


Muskegon woman urges drivers to “think before they drink”

It has been nearly 12 years since Dianna Ockaski’s life was changed after a crash with a drunk driver. The Muskegon woman was on her way to work in the early morning when a drunk driver, traveling about 55 mph, broadsided her vehicle and trapped her inside.

It took firefighters 45 minutes to free her from the vehicle, and when they did, she was taken into emergency surgery to remove a large piece of glass from her eye and reconstruct the eye and socket. She received more than 110 stitches in her face and suffered soft tissue damage to her ribs and severe bruising over most of her body.

Although the crash occurred over a decade ago, she still struggles daily with eye issues, including infection and discomfort. “I would never want anyone to go through what I’ve been through,”Ockaski said. “I want people to think before they drink and get in the car. This is avoidable.”

Ockaski and five other victims and their families across the state are being recognized and remembered as officers in West Michigan and across the state step up drunk driving patrols leading up to Labor Day. They started the patrols last Friday, August 21.

“More people are injured and killed in drunk driving crashes in August than in any other month,” Office of Highway Safety Planning Director Michael L. Prince said. “Everyone should be aware of the extra patrols and remember to plan ahead and never drive drunk.”

OHSP is coordinating the Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest. crackdown by administering federal traffic safety funds to more than 300 agencies in 54 counties, including Kent, Montcalm, Newaygo, Muskegon and others. The Cedar Springs Police Department will be one of the agencies taking part in the crackdown, which runs Aug. 21 through September 7. According to Chief Roger Parent, they will have at least one extra patrol out for the program. “We’ll look for legal reasons to stop vehicles, and will look for alcohol-impaired drivers. We’ll also encourage seat-belt use,” he noted.

About 35 percent of all traffic fatalities in Michigan involve alcohol and/or drugs, including four during last year’s Labor Day weekend.

A first-time drunk driving conviction carries heavy penalties, including 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.

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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