‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ police crackdown planned this weekend

ALPENA — Law enforcement officers from police departments, sheriff’s offices and the Michigan State Police will be on the lookout for impaired drivers during the Labor Day holiday weekend.

The federally funded extra patrols are part of the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement campaign, which began Aug. 17 and will last through Monday.

“The Labor Day holiday weekend is a time for many families to travel one last time before the summer ends,” Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) Director Michael Prince said in a news release. “This traffic safety campaign generates thousands of additional hours of police patrols with a focus on reducing traffic crashes, fatalities, and injuries.”

Last year, 15 people in Michigan died in traffic crashes over the 2017 Labor Day holiday period. Of those crashes, 26.6 percent involved alcohol.

In Michigan, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 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 0.17 BAC or higher. In addition, anyone who refuses a breath test for the first time is given a one-year driver’s license suspension.

For a second refusal within seven years, it is a two-year suspension.

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.

Darby Hinkley can be reached via email at dhinkley@thealpenanews.com, or by phone at 989-354-3111 ext. 324.