Drivers are reminded to buckle up and drive sober as law enforcement agencies in three Mid-Michigan counties will be cracking down on drunk drivers and seat belt violators through additional patrols Aug. 16-Sept. 2.
The Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) is coordinating the "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" enforcement effort by administering federal traffic safety funds to 155 agencies in 26 counties. Grant-funded counties in Mid-Michigan are Eaton, Ingham and Jackson.
The enforcement effort includes the Labor Day holiday
period, a popular travel time. “Extra officers will be out strictly enforcing the state’s seat belt and drunk driving laws,”
During last year’s Labor Day drunk driving crackdown, 344 drivers were arrested for drunk driving and 4,587 seat belt and child restraint citations were issued. Over the 2012 Labor Day holiday weekend, eight people died in Michigan crashes. Four of those deaths
involved alcohol and four vehicle occupants were not buckled up, according to the Michigan Department of State Police Criminal Justice Information Center.
Those convicted of a first-time drunk driving offense face up to 93 days in jail, up to a $500 fine, up to 360 hours of community service, six points on a driver’s license and up to 180 days’ license suspension.
Anyone arrested for a first-time drunk driving offense with a .17 BAC or above faces increased penalties including the possible installation of an ignition interlock device preventing the car from starting if the driver has been drinking.
Michigan law requires all drivers and passengers 15 and younger in any seating position to be buckled up. Children must be in a car seat or booster seat until they are 8 years old or 4 feet 9 inches tall. Seat belt citations are $65.
Grant-funded seat belt and drunk driving enforcement is part of Michigan’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan signed by Gov. Rick Snyder in February.