Police want you to drive "merry and bright" this season

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LANSING, MI. (WILX) - The Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) is kicking off their holiday 'drive sober' campaign on Dec. 18.

The campaign, which they are calling, 'Drive Merry and Bright' this holiday, encourages safe and sober driving.

"The holidays should be an enjoyable time to spend with loved ones," said Michael L. Prince, OHSP director. "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."

OHSP says that Christmas and New Year's Day are a couple of the deadliest times of year for drunk-and drugged-driving fatalities.

The campaign starts on Tuesday and runs until January 1, 2020.

What you can expect to see are statewide messages about the dangers of impaired driving, more enforcement on the roads aimed to drastically reduce traffic crashes, fatalities, and injuries on the roadways, according to the OHSP.

They say that officers during this campaign will be looking for drivers under the influence of drugs and alcohol which is illegal.

Those caught driving while impaired can be arrested for a DUI and could face jail time.

They prepared a Public Service Announcement called "Toe Tags" to send the message home about the dangers of drugged driving. You can watch it here.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has also proclaimed December as Impaired Driving Prevention Month in Michigan.

These stats were released in her proclamation:
- In 2018, one person was killed every 50 minutes by a drunk driver on our nation's roads.
- In Michigan, of the 905 fatal crashes in 2018, 31.7 percent involved alcohol.
- During last year's Christmas holiday, there were 13 fatal crashes, with nine crashes involving alcohol.
- Over the New Year's holiday last year, there were nine fatal crashes, with one crash involving alcohol.

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