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www.mybaycity.com August 26, 2007
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Drunk Driving Crackdown Heads Toward Labor Day Weekend

Bay, Area Counties in Spotlight of Sheriffs, State, Township Police

August 26, 2007       Leave a Comment
By: Dave Rogers

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Labor Day Crackdown on Drunk Driving
 
Hundreds of extra officers are out in force to arrest drunk drivers.

Because of an increase in alcohol-related traffic deaths, a statewide drunk driving crackdown has been launched.

The crackdown that began earlier this month is headed for a climax this weekend and conclusion by Labor Day, Sept. 3.

Motorists over the limit will find themselves under arrest during statewide drunk driving crackdown, said Michael Prince, campaign leader.

Hundreds of extra officers are out in force to arrest drunk drivers during the statewide campaign that began Aug. 17 and runs until Sept. 3.

Law enforcement officers are out in force in 55 counties as part of the "Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest." crackdown across Michigan.

Officers also are conducting warrant sweeps for individuals wanted for previous alcohol-related charges.

The Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) is coordinating the enforcement with federal traffic safety funds going to nearly 230 agencies to boost patrols in selected areas including several in the Bay and northeast Michigan area.

A statewide enforcement plan lists the following areas targeted in the crackdown, the hour enforcement will begin and the hours to be devoted to the effort:


  • Bay County, Aug. 31 and Sept. 1, Sheriff and State Police, 10-11 p.m., two officers, 12 hours of enforcement;

  • Isabella County, Aug. 31 to Sept. 1, Sheriff, State Police, Saginaw Chippewa Police, 9 p.m., seven officers, seven hours;

  • Midland County, Aug. 31 to Sept. 2, 8 p.m., two officers, 16 hours;

  • Ogemaw County, Aug. 31 to Sept. 2, 7 p.m., six officers, 36 hours; State Police warrant sweep Sept. 1;

  • Saginaw County, Aug. 31 to Sept. 1, Bridgeport Township, Buena Vista Township, Sheriff, State Police, Birch Run Police, Thomas Township Police, 8-9 p.m., one officer, six hours to two officers, 12 hours.

    Federal funds also are paying for advertising to ensure widespread awareness of the crackdown. Officers from more than 500 agencies across the state are participating in the campaign.

    Warrant sweeps are underway in 28 counties during the two-week crackdown. Last year a pilot sweep in four counties resulted in 295 arrests on outstanding warrants, including 268 for alcohol-related offenses.

    "Michigan law enforcement officers are going to be out arresting drunk drivers and ensuring they are prosecuted for their crimes," OHSP director Mr. Prince said. "We are putting everyone on notice. There will be no warnings, no second chances. Anyone caught driving while over the limit will find themselves under arrest."

    Last year, Michigan experienced an 8 percent increase in alcohol and/or drug-related traffic fatalities, over 40 percent of all traffic deaths, the highest percentage the state has recorded in more than 10 years.

    In 2006, 440 people died and 7,678 were injured in alcohol and/or drug-related crashes on Michigan roadways. During the 2006 Labor Day weekend, eight people died in traffic crashes, two of which involved alcohol.

    The 55 counties receiving federal traffic safety funding for overtime patrols include: Allegan, Alpena, Barry, Bay, Berrien, Calhoun, Cass, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Chippewa, Clinton, Delta, Dickinson, Eaton, Emmet, Genesee, Gogebic, Grand Traverse, Hillsdale, Ingham, Ionia, Iron, Isabella, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Kent, Lapeer, Lenawee, Livingston, Mackinac, Macomb, Manistique, Marquette, Mason, Menominee, Midland, Monroe, Montcalm, Muskegon, Oakland, Oceana, Ogemaw, Otsego, Ottawa, Roscommon, Saginaw, St. Clair, St. Joseph, Sanilac, Schoolcraft, Shiawassee, Van Buren, Washtenaw, Wayne and Wexford.

    For a listing of planned enforcement times, dates and locations, visit www.michigan.gov/ohsp.###

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    Dave Rogers

    Dave Rogers is a former editorial writer for the Bay City Times and a widely read,
    respected journalist/writer in and around Bay City.
    (Contact Dave Via Email at carraroe@aol.com)

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