Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over this Labor Day

During the 2019 Labor Day holiday weekend, the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office will partner with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to get impaired drivers off the roads and help save lives. The High-visibility national enforcement campaign “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over”, runs from August 14, 2019 through September 2, 2019. During this period, the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office and all law enforcement agencies will show zero tolerance for drunk and drugged driving. Increased state and national messages about the dangers of driving impaired, coupled with enforcement and increased officers on the road, aim to drastically reduce impaired driving.  
“Labor Day should be a time for friends and family to come together to enjoy the last days of summer”, said Berrien County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Robert Boyce. “During this campaign we want to get the message out that drunk driving is illegal, and causes deaths on our roadways. Help us put an end to this senseless behavior so that everyone can enjoy the holiday”.  
The Labor Day holiday weekend is one of the deadliest times of the year in terms of drunk driving fatalities. In 2018, there were 12 traffic fatalities over the holiday weekend in Michigan, with 6 crashes involving alcohol. In Michigan, the percentage of alcohol-related fatalities was approximately 11 times higher than fatalities in all crashes and the serious injury level was about six times higher.  
Drunk driving isn’t the only risk on the road. Drug-impaired driving is also an increasing problem on our roadways. In Michigan, the number of fatal crashes involving drivers, who tested positive for cannabinoid drugs has nearly doubled since 2013. If drivers are impaired by any substance – alcohol or drugs – they should not get behind the wheel of a vehicle.  
“Driving a vehicle while impaired is a dangerous crime”, said Berrien County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Robert Boyce. It is essential to plan a sober ride home before you ever leave for the party. That’s why, during the Labor Day holiday, we will make zero exceptions for drunk and drugged driving. There are just no excuses”.  
During this Labor Day “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over: campaign, 93 police departments, sheriff’s Offices, and Michigan State Police posts will put extra officers on the roads to locate and arrest drunk and drugged drivers. The extra overtime is paid for with federal funds administered by the Office of Highway Safety Planning.  This mobilization is about saving lives, not writing citations, which is why it’s widely publicized.  
In the State of Michigan, there were 9,786 alcohol-involved crashes with 315 alcohol-involved fatalities in 2018. There were 2,636 drug-involved crashes and 247 drug-involved fatalities statewide in 2018.  
Michigan law considers persons with a BAC of .08 or greater to be driving drunk, although motorists can be arrested at any BAC level if an officer believes they are impaired.  Michigan’s drunk driving laws contains a zero tolerance provision for drivers with certain illegal drugs in their system. Prosecutors do not have to prove the driver was impaired, just that they were driving with those drugs in their system. The same penalties for drunk driving will apply to those convicted under the zero-tolerance drug provisions.   

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