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Detroit, Michigan

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Steven Gursten
Steven Gursten
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Michigan State Police on Look-Out for Halloween Costumed Drunk Drivers

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Think you can trick Michigan State Police Officers by driving drunk in a Halloween costume? Think again.

As announced at The Michigan State Police (MSP) website:

Dressing like a zombie, ghost or pirate won’t help drunk drivers disguise themselves from law enforcement officers this Halloween as more than 60 agencies in 15 counties will be conducting extra patrols Oct. 25-31.

According to the MSP website, 11 people were killed in traffic crashes Oct. 28-30, 2011, and two of those deaths involved alcohol. Five motorists who died were unbuckled, while two were pedestrians.

Need more incentive not to drink and drive in Michigan? Try this (from MSP site):

 

A motorist convicted of drunk driving can expect to face serious consequences including:

  • Up to 93 days in jail
  • Up to a $500 fine Up to 360 hours of community service
  • 180 days driving suspension
  • Six points on a driver’s license

In addition, they 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.

Motorists face enhanced penalties if arrested for a first-time drunk driving offense with a .17 BAC or higher, including increased fines, longer jail time, a one-year license suspension and the possibility of a restricted driver’s license with the use of a breath alcohol ignition interlock device.

Obviously, we want to stop drunk driving before intoxicated drivers get into their cars. And the best way to do that is to have designated drivers and take keys away from intoxicated friends.

Remember that:

  • Car crashes involving drinking are worse – Car accidents involving drinking are usually more serious than non-drinking crashes.
  • You’re more likely to die or sustain an incapacitating injury – You’re eight times more likely to die and nearly five times more likely to sustain an incapacitating injury if you are drinking and driving, or in an accident with a drunk driver.

In 2009 Wayne County had the most auto accidents involving drunk driving as well as drunk driving fatalities.

However, it’s worth noting that the population is much higher there, with busy cities like Detroit and Dearborn. So the actual ranking according to number of fatal crashes per capita, was not as high in Wayne as it was in many other Michigan counties. Still, drunk driving statistics for Wayne County were still very concerning:

  • Wayne County had the most drinking and driving accidents, with 1,648 crashes involving drivers who had been drinking.
  • Wayne also had the most drinking and driving fatalities in all of Michigan – 52.
  • The Wayne County rating for fatal car accidents involving drunk drivers was .0270, and Wayne County ranked 42 out of 64 Michigan counties.

In Oakland County, where our main office is located, in 2009:

  • Oakland County had the second-most most drinking and driving accidents, with 1,058 crashes involving drivers who had been drinking.
  • There were 11 drinking and driving fatalities in Oakland County, the fifth highest amount of drinking and driving fatalities in all of the Michigan Counties.
  • The Oakland County rating for fatal car accidents involving drunk drivers was .0091, and it ranked 61 out of 64 Michigan counties.

Let’s all work together to make Halloween drunk-driving free in Michigan.

You can view a list of planned Halloween patrol dates, times and locations, at www.michigan.gov/ohsp.