Drunk drivers beware this Halloween
Extra officers will patrol weekends surrounding holiday
October 25, 2007
More than 50 law enforcement agencies in 14 counties will try to scare drunk drivers sober this Halloween by conducting extra patrols.
Because nearly 42 percent of Michigan's traffic fatalities over last year's Halloween weekend involved alcohol, the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) is administering federal traffic safety funds to law enforcement agencies to patrol for drunk drivers starting this weekend and running through the weekend after Halloween. Michigan State Police troopers will supplement the patrols.
Five out of 12 traffic fatalities in Michigan the Friday and Saturday (Oct. 27-28, 2006) before Halloween were alcohol related, according to crash statistics. Statewide in 2006, officers made nearly 130 drunk driving arrests on Oct. 27 and 245 drunk driving arrests on Oct. 28.
"There are no excuses for driving drunk at Halloween or any other time of the year," OHSP Director Michael Prince said. "Celebrate, but show some personal responsibility and concern for others. For those who fail to follow these simple rules, our office will ensure there are additional police patrols specifically trained and equipped to detect and arrest drunk drivers and get them off the road and into the legal system."
Fifty-two agencies in the following counties are participating in the Halloween drunk driving patrols: Clinton, Genesee, Hillsdale, Ingham, Ionia, Jackson, Lapeer, Lenawee, Macomb, Mason, Ottawa, St. Clair, Shiawassee and Wayne. Because Halloween is in the middle of the week, patrols will focus on the weekend before and the weekend after.
OHSP also offers these tips for a safer Halloween weekend:
Don't get behind the wheel after drinking.
Take the keys and never let a friend drive while drunk.
If impaired, call a taxi, use mass transit or call a sober friend.
Make sure guests leave with a sober driver.
OHSP administers funds for drunk driving, safety belt and intersection enforcement throughout the year to agencies in 55 counties that cover 94 percent of Michigan's population. Each county determines when to schedule patrols based on crash data, officer availability and unique local needs. For a list of planned Halloween patrol dates, times and locations, please visit www.michigan.gov/ohsp.