SOUTHFIELD (WWJ) – The National Transportation Safety Board will single out Michigan as one of seven states not doing enough to crack down on so-called “hardcore drunk driving,” which is defined as driving drunk repeatedly or with a very high blood alcohol.
The NTSB’s Dr. Mark Rosekind says “hardcore drunk driving” is blamed for 70-percent of alcohol-related fatalities. “They estimate that a repeat offender has had 88 trips drunk before they get arrested. So a repeat offender, which means you’re getting them on the second time — 176 trips when they’re drunk before they get caught as a repeat offender,” says Rosekind.
One of the recommendations for the state from the NTSB is for Michigan to bring back sobriety checkpoints. Although the Michigan Supreme Court has ruled that the checkpoints violate the state’s constitution, Dr. Rosekind says they’re a good way to cut down on the “hardcore drunk driving.” “We just did a quick count, 38 other states in the country have sobriety checkpoints. Statewide, sobriety checkpoints are used as one of the counter-measures.” And, Rosekind says one interesting thing he noticed about the sobriety checkpoints is that sometimes they’re advertised, giving people an opportunity to avoid a certain area. And, still, drunk drivers will go through, which he says shows just how impaired these people are.
The NTSB will outline its other recommendations for the seven states at 11am Thursday.