Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is a serious crime in Michigan, punishable by driver’s license suspension or revocation, expensive fines, community service, and worst of all, jail time. Unfortunately, many DUI arrests are without merit. Motorists are often charged with driving drunk without sufficient proof of intoxication or because a faulty breathalyzer test was used. But in fear, those accused of DUI are hesitant to defend themselves.
DUI arrests in Michigan are especially common during holidays. Naturally, when there is a long weekend, one way people tend to celebrate is by drinking. Police are always on the lookout during holidays to catch anyone who exhibits even the slightest sign of intoxication, and with Labor Day weekend coming up, we all know law enforcement officials are going to be much more apt to cite drivers for violations.
Last year, state police officers made nearly 350 arrests during Labor Day weekend and issued over 4,500 seat belt violations. But this year, the Michigan State Police is rolling out a new effort to reduce DUI and seat belt violations during the holiday.
The department has come up with a new ad campaign that features a “hybrid” police car called ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’. The front half of the car is a regular Novi police cruiser, equipped with flashing lights and all the details of a normal police car, but the back half is a taxi. The vehicle, which will be displayed at car shows around Michigan and on billboards prior to the holiday, is intended to send a message to drivers to “choose their ride” if they have been drinking or risk getting arrested for DUI.
“We hope this cruiser-cab catches people’s attention about the ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ drunk driving crackdown,” said Michael L. Prince, director of the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning, in a statement. “Everyone should be on notice that law enforcement officers are serious about stopping and arresting drunk drivers.”
The campaign is part of Michigan’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan and is federally funded. State officials hope the car will be enough of an attention grabber for potential drunk drivers into avoiding getting behind the wheel. The state police department reports there were more than 10,000 alcohol-related car accidents in Michigan in 2012, 260 of which were fatal. The department also reports that alcohol and/or drugs are a factor in almost one-third of all Michigan traffic deaths.
The new effort seems like a good way to reduce the incidence of drunk driving accidents in Michigan, but though it may potentially deter some drivers, others will undoubtedly still be arrested for driving while intoxicated, and when that happens, it’s important for the motorist to seek legal help with a Michigan criminal defense attorney in order to protect their rights.
A criminal lawyer can help reduce charges and penalties, especially if there is insufficient evidence against the driver. The Law Offices of Stuart R. Shafer remind everyone that it’s always wise to have a designated driver assigned before drinking, but in the event an arrest does occur, Stu Shafer is the Michigan DUI defense lawyer to turn to for swift action and a fair case resolution.