July 4th drunk driving patrols

Fireworks will provide most of the flashing lights this holiday weekend, but the Michigan State Police are ready to chip in their fair share for people who decide to drink and drive.

The “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” initiative puts extra officers on the road to crack down on drunk driving.

The effort is already underway and runs through July 7th.

Federal funding allows the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning to put 156 police agencies on the road in 26 counties.

“The awareness makes people think before they drink and drive. We have seen a decreased number of fatalities because of that. If you’re going to drink alcohol this holiday weekend we need you to have a designated driver or stay where you are so that you won’t hurt other people,” explained Trooper Stacey Rasanen.

The 2012 Fourth of July holiday weekend patrol push saw just four fatal accidents, none of which were alcohol related.

However, in the five year period of 2008 through 2012, there were 743 deaths and incapacitating injuries in which alcohol was a factor during the month of July, with that number rising to 753 in the month of August from 2008 to 2012.

In order to combat those numbers, a second wave of increased presence will roll out starting August 16th through Labor Day, September 2nd.