Be the designated driver this summer

Published 9:47 am Thursday, July 9, 2015

Although the Independence Day celebrations may be over and the parties have been cleaned up, there are other events and celebrations that are happening throughout the summer.

These times may be including the adult beverages. Even though it may not be a holiday weekend, we still want everyone to be safe and arrive alive. This past weekend, the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP), had an excellent program theme of “Who’s your D.D.? Be the designated driver. Be the hero.”

This is an excellent plan. You don’t need a cape or superpowers to be a superhero; all you need is a phone. Law enforcement officers from police departments, sheriff’s offices and the Michigan State Police are encouraging motorists to answer the call and activate their own superpower by being a designated driver.

A sober driver is a hero to everyone on the road. When the signal goes out, the designated driver can rescue friends and family in distress and make sure everyone gets home safely.

“Driving while impaired is completely preventable as are the deaths and injuries that result from this behavior,” said Michael L. Prince, OHSP director. “Our publicity efforts are designed to forewarn the public that additional patrols will be out in force, and they should make alternate arrangements for transportation when drinking. There is absolutely zero tolerance for impaired driving in Michigan.”

Stepped up drunk driving enforcement took place in all 83 Michigan counties during the Fourth of July drunk driving crackdown, and through July 12. OHSP is coordinating the enforcement effort which is supported with federal funds.

During last year’s Fourth of July drunk driving crackdown, 236 motorists were arrested for drunk driving as a result of extra patrols. There were 12 traffic deaths over that holiday period; a quarter of those fatalities involved alcohol.

In Michigan, it is illegal to drive with blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher, although motorists can be arrested at any BAC level if an officer believes they are impaired. Motorists face enhanced penalties if arrested for a first-time drunk-driving offense with a .17 BAC or higher.

Grant-funded impaired driving enforcement is part of Michigan’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan signed by Gov. Rick Snyder in 2013.

Whatever your summer plans, arrive alive. Drive safe. Be the D.D.


Any questions or comments please email me at or call (269) 683-4411.