(WWJ) — Law enforcement officials in 40 Michigan counties are making an extra effort to catch drunk drivers.

Michigan State Police Lieutenant Michael Shaw said that drunk driving was behind 354 roadway deaths last year.

“That’s the number that I think we should really think about because those people died for absolutely no reason,” Shaw said. “It could have been prevented just by somebody not going behind the wheel when they’ve been drinking.”

The “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” effort will include the Labor Day.

“Those people would be walking on Earth today if somebody would have made a better choice as far as drunk driving goes,” Shaw said. “The fines and the costs and everything should be in the back of your head, but 354 families now have lost a loved one because somebody didn’t take the time to say ‘hey, I can’t drive, get a designated driver.'”

Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham said that the crackdown on drunk driving and seat belt use — or non-use — runs through Labor Day, September 1.

“We don’t have a problem with people going out and drinking and having a good time,” Wickersham said. “But when you’re doing that, you have to make the right decisions. If you’re going to get behind the wheel, that’s a poor decision.”

During the campaign, law enforcement officers from 150 local police departments, sheriff offices and Michigan State Police posts will also be looking for seat belt use.

“Plan ahead, have a designated driver, have a cab, have a limo service,” Wickersham said. “And we do see that people are getting the word, but still, one drunk driving fatality, one drunk driving crash with serious injury is way too much.”


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