According to a recent audit, there were more fatalities on Michigan roads due to drugs than alcohol.
The Michigan Drunk Driving Audit reports that in 2017, there were 1028 fatalities on Michigan roads. Of those killed, 224 were alcohol-related and 246 were related to either drugs or a combination of drugs and alcohol.
This is the first time in Michigan that drugs have contributed to more traffic fatalities than alcohol.
“I’m not surprised by that at all,” Sgt. Aaron Quinn, with Grand Blanc Township Police Department, said.
Lt. Duane Zook with MSP said he has an idea about why drugged driving is becoming more popular than drunk driving.
“Alcohol was the choice for people decades ago and as we’ve progressed further in time, there’re more options for people out there, which includes illegal drugs and narcotics, and prescription drugs as well,” Lt. Zook said.
The audit looked at every county in the state. In Saginaw Co., there were four deaths related to alcohol and five involving drugs. In Gen. Co., there were eight people killed in crashes related to alcohol and six due to drugs. In Midland Co., there was only one person killed in a crash related to alcohol but seven due to drugs.
The Grand Blanc Twp. Police Department said they are stepping up patrols this weekend since it is April 20th, a day nationally known for smoking marijuana.
“We do have two extra officers coming in to do targeted OWI and OUI patrols,” Sgt. Quinn said.
Quinn said that this is something the department does every year on April 20th.
Police remind drivers to be wise before using drugs or alcohol.
“If you choose to use marijuana or drink, make sure you have a designated driver or just stay where you’re at,” Lt. Zook said.