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MADD 'Glad' About Crackdown on Drunk Driving

PHOTO: Mothers Against Drunk Driving says high visibility law enforcement campaigns are a proven deterrent against drunk driving. The 'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over' campaign runs through Labor Day Weekend. Photo credit: State of Michigan
PHOTO: Mothers Against Drunk Driving says high visibility law enforcement campaigns are a proven deterrent against drunk driving. The 'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over' campaign runs through Labor Day Weekend. Photo credit: State of Michigan
August 29, 2013

LANSING, Mich. – You might think a group called MADD doesn't have much to be glad about, but more police on the streets through this holiday weekend is certainly one thing that pleases the national organization.

Jan Withers, president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, says high-visibility law enforcement is a proven way to reduce drunken driving deaths.

"So when it's advertised, and people know about it, it's a deterrent,” she explains. “And then when they see the officers on the highway, it's interesting because it literally does reduce those fatalities by 20 percent."

Sobriety checkpoints are illegal under Michigan law, but police patrols will be increased during this weekend's Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign.

Officers from 160 police agencies in 26 Michigan counties will be paying closer attention to drivers this weekend.

Melody Kindraka, spokeswoman for the Michigan office of Highway Safety Planning, says the police will be looking for drunk drivers and drivers who aren't wearing seat belts.

"Holidays are big travel times in Michigan, and during last year's Labor Day holiday eight people were killed in traffic crashes in Michigan,” she says. “Four of those crashes involved alcohol and four involved occupants who were not buckled up. "

Each year nearly 10,000 people die on the roads of America because of drunk driving.

Rob South, Public News Service - MI