Police to crack down on Halloween drunk drivers across Michigan
By Craig McMorris, TV5 Anchor/Reporter - bio | email
LANSING, MI (WNEM) -
Dressing like a zombie, ghost or pirate won't help drunk drivers disguise themselves from law enforcement officers this Halloween across Michigan. More than 60 agencies in 15 counties are conducting extra patrols Oct. 25 through 31.
The Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning is coordinating the effort supported by federal traffic safety funds. Last year, officers arrested 261 drunk drivers the weekend prior to Halloween, Oct. 28 to 30, and 99 of those motorists had a blood alcohol content of .17 or higher.
"Unfortunately, spooky costumes aren't the scariest things about the holiday anymore," said OHSP Director Michael L. Prince. "It's the fact that too many drivers don't plan ahead before they start drinking and make the roads dangerous for others."
Eleven people died in traffic crashes Oct. 28 through 30, and two of those deaths involved alcohol. Five motorists who died were unbuckled, while two were pedestrians.
Agencies in the following counties are participating in the Halloween drunk driving patrols: Allegan, Calhoun, Berrien, Chippewa, Genesee, Ingham, Jackson, Kent, Macomb, Marquette, Monroe, Ottawa, St. Clair, Washtenaw and Wayne.
Because Halloween is in the middle of the week, patrols will begin the weekend before the holiday.
A motorist convicted of drunk driving can expect to face serious consequences including: up to 93 days in jail Up to a $500 fine Up to 360 hours of community service 180 days driving suspension, six points on a driver's license. In addition, they 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. Motorists face enhanced penalties if arrested for a first-time drunk driving offense with a .17 BAC or higher, including increased fines, longer jail time, a one-year license suspension and the possibility of a restricted driver's license with the use of a breath alcohol ignition interlock device.
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