Agencies Plan Crackdown On Drunken Driving 8-19-2010 - WNEM TV 5

Agencies Plan Crackdown On Drunken Driving 8-19-2010

A statewide drunken driving crackdown begins Thursday as additional law enforcement officers in 30 counties prepare to enforce the state's impaired driving laws.
Officials said more people are killed in impaired driving crashes in the summer months than in any other time during the year.
Last year, 299 people were killed in alcohol-involved crashes, a decrease of 5.7 percent from 2008. While fewer people died last year, alcohol-related crashes are consistently 8 percent more likely to be fatal and four times more likely to cause serious injuries than non-drinking crashes, officials said.
During the 2009 Labor Day holiday period, 16 people died in crashes with four of those fatalities involving alcohol.
Motorists convicted of a first drunken 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.
In addition, convicted drunken drivers will be subject to a $1,000 fee for two consecutive years, for a total of $2,000 in additional costs.
Anyone who refuses a breath test the first time is given an automatic one-year driver's license suspension.
The crackdown runs through Sept. 6 and includes Saginaw, Bay, Isabella and Tuscola counties. TV and radio ads are also being aired to discourage drunken drivers.
Officials also want to remind party-goers the Office of Highway Safety Planning has developed a free iPhone app which uses the phone's GPS system to remind users that enforcement can be anywhere at any time. The tool reportedly signals were increased law enforcement is present.
The app also provides users with a list of taxi services and a telephone contact list to call for a safe and sober ride home.
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