By Jessica Mathews /

Nearly 200 motorists were arrested for impaired driving during the end-of-year-holiday crackdown period.

The Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning coordinates the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” effort, which is supported by federal traffic safety funds. Before and during the Christmas and New Year’s Holidays, various agencies participate in the enforcement campaign with the goals of saving lives and decreasing crashes by stopping impaired drivers. The enforcement period ran from December 11th through January 1st and more than 90 law enforcement agencies took part.

OHSP Communications Specialist Dennis Raymo tells WHMI they’re trying to put an end to drinking and driving that goes on during holiday periods. He says obviously they want to get impaired drivers off the roads but another concern is the amount of speeding taking place despite less travel and the pandemic. Raymo said the situation is much different from 2019 to 2020 and while the restaurant and bar stoppages tipped numbers down, they’re still scary based on the behavior of some drivers.

Preliminary reports indicate officers made 7,529 traffic stops and arrested 159 drunk drivers and 39 drugged drivers. 1,120 speeding citations were issued, 88 seat belt citations and 13 child restraint citations. Additionally, officers made 147 felony arrests during the enforcement period. In 2019, there were almost 9,000 traffic stops during the enforcement period and 206 drunk driving arrests.

According to the 2019 Michigan Annual Drunk Driving Audit by Michigan State Police, 41.9% of all fatal crashes that occurred involved alcohol, drugs or both. Raymo noted that road rage incidents can also escalate quickly and what seems like a small incident can turn into something much bigger.