As they do during every New Year’s Eve holiday period, local and statewide law enforcement agencies will be on the lookout for motorists under the influence of both drugs and alcohol.
The “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign is supported with federal traffic safety funds and coordinated by the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning. The increased enforcement, along with statewide messages about the dangers of impaired driving, aim to reduce traffic crashes, fatalities and injuries on roadways. OHSP Communication Strategist Kari Arend says they want people to have a good time but they need to avoid not only drinking and driving but also drugged driving, which includes prescription drugs and recreational marijuana. Arend tells WHMI motorists will see extra patrols on roadways with officers specifically looking for impaired drivers and there are certain visual cues they’ll be looking for, such as weaving and improper lane changes. Arend stresses that ultimately, officers don’t want to write tickets but rather make sure everyone gets home safely so if anyone is drinking or celebrating, they need to have plans in place and should not be behind the wheel of a vehicle – adding people can utilize a ride-service or call a friend to get to destination safely or stay the night somewhere.
The national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign will run through January 1st. Over the New Year’s holiday last year, there were nine fatal crashes with one involving alcohol. (JM)