DEARBORN — The Police Department is partnering with the National Highway Safety Administration to get impaired drivers off the roads through the Labor Day weekend.
The high-visibility national enforcement campaign, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, began Aug. 14 and will run through Sept. 2. During this period local law enforcement will show zero tolerance for drunken and drugged driving. Increased state and national messages about the dangers of driving impaired, coupled with enforcement and increased officers on the road, aim to reduce impaired driving.
“Labor Day should be a time for friends and family to come together to enjoy the last days of summer,” Police Chief Ronald Haddad said. “During this campaign we want to get the message out that drunk driving is illegal, and causes deaths on our roadways. Help us put an end to this senseless behavior so that everyone can enjoy the holiday.”
The Labor Day holiday weekend is one of the deadliest times of the year in terms of drunken driving fatalities. In 2018, there were 12 traffic fatalities over the holiday weekend in Michigan, with six crashes involving alcohol.
In Michigan, the percentage of alcohol-related fatalities was approximately 11 times higher than fatalities in all crashes and the serious injury level was about six times higher.
Drunken driving isn’t the only risk on the road. Drug-impaired driving is also an increasing problem, Haddad said. In Michigan, the number of fatal crashes involving drivers who tested positive for cannabinoid drugs has nearly doubled since 2013. If drivers are impaired by any substance — alcohol or drugs — they should not get behind the wheel of a vehicle, he said.
“Driving a vehicle while impaired is a dangerous crime,” Haddad said. “It is essential to plan a sober ride home before you ever leave for the party. That’s why during the Labor Day holiday we will make zero exceptions for drunk and drugged driving. There are just no excuses.”