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Drunk Driving Enforcement Campaign Targets Tech-Savvy Motorists

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LANSING (WWJ) - Hundreds of bars and restaurants in Michigan will be serving drinks on “technically advanced” coasters that will help motorists easily find a safe, sober ride home.

The coasters will feature a QR code — or quick response code — that when scanned with a smart phone app will display a list of local cab companies and their phone numbers.

It’s all part of a spring drunk driving enforcement campaign designed by the Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP). They say the QR code is meant to appeal to tech-savvy young adults who are more likely to own smartphones than adults as a whole.

With the help of the Michigan Licensed Beverage Association, the coasters have been distributed to more than 500 members in locations where cab service is readily available.

The coasters will be in place at the same time law enforcement agencies in 26 counties are stepping up drunk driving enforcement through April 2. The effort will involve officers from local police departments, deputies from county sheriff offices and troopers from the Michigan State Police.

For the first time, OHSP is incorporating a nearly three-week spring drunk driving crackdown in its traffic safety efforts. Federal traffic safety funds will be used to support the additional enforcement.

In the past, March drunk driving efforts have been focused only on St. Patrick’s Day. A five-year review of crash data indicates alcohol use and failure to buckle up play a significant role in fatal and serious injury crashes during the month and into early April. March includes St. Patrick’s Day, many school spring break periods and college basketball tournament games.

Law enforcement agencies have planned nearly 7,500 hours of additional drunk driving patrols during the spring enforcement campaign.

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