The Labor Day holiday typically marks the end of summer and a chance to enjoy final pool parties, backyard barbecues or Up North trips but it’s also dubbed one of the deadliest times of the year in terms of drunk driving fatalities.

The Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning is coordinating another “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, which is underway across Livingston County and the state of Michigan. Law enforcement officers will be targeting drunk and drugged drivers during the “campaign. It runs through September 2nd and aims to reduce traffic crashes, fatalities and injuries according to OHSP Communication Strategist Kari Arend. She says the Labor Day holiday weekend is one of the deadliest in terms of drunk driving fatalities and Arend says they want people to celebrate the end of summer but also remind them to make smart choices. She says those celebrating over the weekend need to know their limits and if out; make sure to have a ride home, call a ride share or stay over somewhere so everyone gets home safely.

In Michigan, the percentage of alcohol-related fatalities was said to be approximately 11 times higher than fatalities in all crashes and the serious injury level was about six times higher. During last year’s Labor Day holiday period, there were 12 fatal crashes - with six involving alcohol. Arend says they want to put a focus on people driving responsibly and recognize that there is a zero tolerance for drunk and drugged driving – adding they just want to make sure everyone arrives at their destination and gets home safely. She says besides making sure they don’t see any serious injuries or fatalities out on the roadway because of an impaired driver; it’s also important motorists know that a DUI can set someone back tens of thousands of dollars in attorney fees, court costs and lost time at work so there is a monetary amount besides an injury if some decides to drive impaired. (JM)