DETROIT – Drunken driving crackdowns will take place in all Michigan counties through March 29.
During the annual “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” initiative, patrols focused on drunken driving are increased statewide.
Officers from more than 170 police departments, sheriff’s offices and the Michigan State Police will be participating in the program that is coordinated by the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning.
Drivers with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or higher are considered drunken drivers in Michigan, and the penalties for driving drunk can add up quickly.
For the first offense, offenders could face up to 93 days in jail and/or up to a fine of $500. Those penalties are even higher when a person’s BAC is 0.17 or higher.
Drunken drivers may also face license suspensions and have to pay a $1,000 driver responsibility fee for two consecutive years.
According to Michigan State Police Lt. Mike Shaw, the price of a first drunken driving offense could reach $10,000 when lawyers and other costs are included.
Shaw said 303 people were killed by drunken drivers in Michigan in 2015.
“That’s 303 moms, dads, brothers, sisters that we’ll never see again just because a drunk got behind the wheel,” Shaw said.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drunken driving kills over 10,000 people in the U.S. annually.
Lt. Mike Shaw talks with Jason Carr about drunken driving in Michigan: