A stepped up drunk driving enforcement campaign underway across Livingston County and the state of Michigan aims to reduce traffic crashes, fatalities and injuries.

The end of summer is traditionally marked by the Labor Day holiday, meaning last minute vacations and other activities before the back to school grind. It’s also a time when drunk driving traffic crashes and fatalities tend to increase. That’s why the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning is partnering with local and statewide law enforcement agencies to target drunk drivers during the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign involving stepped up patrols. The campaign runs through September 3rd and aims to discourage and crack down on drunk driving.

Communication Strategist Kari Arend tells WHMI the Labor Day holiday weekend is one of the deadliest in terms of drunk driving fatalities and they want people to celebrate the end of summer but do so responsibly. Over the 2017 Labor Day holiday period in Michigan, 15 people died in traffic crashes. Of those, more than a quarter involved alcohol. Arend says this is a national campaign and there is funding dedicated for additional patrols to ensure motorists are being responsible. She says for those out celebrating the end of summer and drinking, they just want to make sure everyone arrives at their destination safely and gets home safely. Arend says the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign is one of several impaired driving campaigns planned through 2019. She says they want to put a focus on people driving responsibly and recognize that there is a zero tolerance for drunk driving and there will be extra enforcements.

A total of 359 people died in 320 alcohol-involved crashes in Michigan in 2017, the highest number of fatalities from alcohol-involved crashes since 2006. (JM)