LANSING (WWJ) – Michigan State Police say their stepped up enforcement over the holidays resulted in thousands of traffic stops and more than 300 drunk driving arrests.
Officers say during the Christmas/New Year’s crackdown, Dec. 16-Jan. 2, more than 7,000 traffic stops were made with nearly 4,000 arrests or citations for a variety of violations. Police say the average drunk driving suspect has to fork over more than $15,000 in court costs, legal fees, bail, towing, license fees and increased insurance rates.
The Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) coordinated the efforts of more than 165 agencies for the the crackdown which was funded by federal highway safety grants in 26 counties.
In addition to the 308 drunk driving arrests, 175 other misdemeanor and felony arrests were made. Officers also issued 91 seat belt and child restraint, 649 speeding and 360 uninsured motorist citations. Three stolen vehicles were recovered, 317 drivers were found to be driving on suspended licenses and 171 fugitives were arrested during the enforcement effort.
Meantime, preliminary reports from the Michigan State Police Criminal Justice Information Center indicate 15 people died in traffic crashes during the recent holidays, with four of those deaths involving alcohol. Three of those killed were pedestrians and one was a snowmobiler.
“Drunk driving is not tolerated in Michigan,” said Michael L. Prince, OHSP director, in a statement. “Those motorists who made the poor decision to drive while impaired will be paying the price in 2012 and beyond.”
During a similar effort last year that included 35 grant-funded counties, officers made 9,462 traffic stops and arrested 356 drunk drivers.