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National campaign encourages safe, sober driving


Christmas and New Year’s Day are fun, busy times to celebrate with family and friends. The holiday season also is one of the deadliest times of year for drunk-and drugged-driving fatalities.

This is why law enforcement officers, in partnership with the Office of Highway Safety Planning, are encouraging safe, sober driving this holiday season.

The national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement campaign runs from Dec. 18 to Jan. 1, 2020. Increased enforcement, along with statewide messages about the dangers of impaired driving, aim to drastically reduce traffic crashes, fatalities and injuries on the roadways.

“The holidays should be an enjoyable time to spend with loved ones,” Michael L. Prince, OHSP director, said. “It’s important for people to drive sober this holiday season – and every day. If you’re impaired by any substance, you shouldn’t drive.”

In addition, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has proclaimed December as Impaired Driving Prevention Month in Michigan.

In 2018, one person was killed every 50 minutes by a drunk driver on U.S. roads.

In Michigan, of the 905 fatal crashes in 2018, 31.7 percent involved alcohol. During last year’s Christmas holiday, 13 fatal crashes were reported, nine of them involving alcohol. Over the New Year’s holiday last year, there were nine fatal crashes, with one crash involving alcohol.

Officers are on the lookout for motorists under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Impairment of any kind while driving is illegal. If a person chooses to drive while impaired, he or she can be arrested for a DUI and could face jail time.

The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign is supported with federal traffic safety funds provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and coordinated by the OHSP.

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