The end of November is traditionally marked by Thanksgiving events. The long weekend is typically celebrated through dinners, sports activities, and shopping as families and friends enjoy the waning days of autumn. Thanksgiving can also be deadly, with impaired drivers endangering themselves and others on America’s roadways.
Law Enforcement Officers from the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office, Saint Joseph City Department of Public Safety, Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety, New Buffalo City Police Department, and the Bridgman City Police Department will be watching. If we see you driving while impaired we will stop and arrest you. No second chances, said Sheriff L. Paul Bailey. As you head out to Thanksgiving festivities, remember: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.
The high-visibility enforcement campaign, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, runs from November 22, 2017 through December 10, 2017. During this period, local law enforcement will show zero tolerance for impaired driving. Increased state and national messages about the dangers of driving impaired, coupled with enforcement and increased officers on the road aim to drastically reduce impaired driving on the nation’s roadways.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 10,265 fatalities in 2015 in motor vehicle traffic crashes involving drivers with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher. This totaled 29 percent of all traffic fatalities nationwide for the year.
In the United States, a person is killed in a drunk driving crash every 51 minutes, said Sheriff L. Paul Bailey.
Ten people lost their lives on Michigan roads during the 2016 Thanksgiving holiday period. Throughout 2016, 416 people died in Michigan as a result of alcohol and/or drug-involved traffic crashes, according to the Michigan State Police Criminal Justice Information Center.
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 drunk driving offense with a .17 BAC or higher.
The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign is supported with federal traffic safety funds coordinated by the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning.