Efforts to keep impaired drivers off Michigan roads continue

NOW: Efforts to keep impaired drivers off Michigan roads continue


ST. JOSEPH, Mich – The effort to keep impaired drivers off of Michigan roads continues. 

Berrien County’s “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign wrapped up this week, and is ramping up to begin again for the holidays. 

The campaign runs at various times throughout the year and is chosen based on research of what timeframe is most effective. 

“If you consume any alcohol or consume narcotics please think of others do not get behind of the wheel of a moving vehicle,” Berrien County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Robert Boyce said. 

With voters approving proposal one on Tuesday legalizing recreational marijuana in Michigan Boyce says his goal will remain the same to get impaired drivers of any kind off the road. 

“There are gonna be more impaired drivers out there they may not be under the influence of alcoholic beverages but they may be under the influence of marijuana so our goal is to eliminate any impaired drivers be it marijuana, alcohol, prescription drugs, opioids or anything,” Boyce said. 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration there were 311 alcohol impaired driving deaths in 2017 in the state of Michigan. 

Berrien County was a part of a pilot program to test a mouth swab system.

If the mouth swab system proves to be accurate it could become a standard tool used across the state. 

Mothers Against Drunk Driving representative Frank Harris says the organization has not officially taken stance on the legalization of marijuana in states across the country but he hopes policy makers and law enforcement come together on what quantifies impairment.

“I think as a society we need to figure out what level of driving under the influence of marijuana is tolerable and safe,” Harris said. 

Boyce says he thinks the Drive sober program is effective and the campaign will continue to help keep the streets safe. 

“To me It has been a success because we didn’t have any impaired driving arrests, the message got out to the community during this enforcement period to designate sober drivers,” Boyce said. 

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