Local authorities are urging safe and sober driving this 4th of July holiday period as an impaired driving crackdown gets underway.

The 4th of July impaired driving crackdown begins today and law enforcement is reminding motorists to “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” during the two-week campaign. Law enforcement officers from police departments, sheriff’s offices and the Michigan State Police are encouraging motorists to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday with caution and have a plan to get home safely.
The campaign is designed to inform the public that additional patrols will be out in force, and they should make alternate arrangements for transportation before drinking. There is zero tolerance for impaired driving in Michigan and any form of impaired driving is illegal.

The stepped up patrols are supported by federal traffic safety funds and the effort is coordinated by the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning. Communication Strategist Kari Arend tells WHMI they want to remind people that if they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they should not be driving. She says any form of impaired driving is illegal and they will have extra patrols out on the roadways for the next two weeks, which will cover the busy 4th of July holiday. Arend says they just want to make sure people are making safe choices when out traveling and have a safe way to get home if they are out partying.

During the two-week crackdown, officers will be on the lookout for motorists under the influence of drugs and alcohol. In Michigan, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or higher, although motorists can be arrested at any BAC level if an officer believes they are impaired. Michigan has what is commonly referred to as a zero-tolerance drugged driving law. Officials stress that driving while impaired is completely preventable - as are the deaths and injuries that result from the behavior. The enforcement period runs through July 14th. During last year’s Fourth of July holiday, there were seven traffic fatalities with at least one crash involving alcohol. (JM)