December is dedicated as National Impaired Driving Prevention Month to raise awareness about the dangers of all forms of impaired driving. Drunk, drugged and distracted driving are equally dangerous to all Michiganders.
Great strides have been made over the years to reduce impaired driving, but it is still a problem in our state. This month is a great time to remind ourselves and our families of the seriousness of this issue and how it can be prevented.
Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that the holiday season results in an increase in DUI and fatal drunk-driving accidents. In December 2012 alone, 830 people lost their lives in accidents involving drunk drivers.
In 2012, there was a 9 percent increase in the amount of distracted driving and 10 percent of fatal accidents in drivers under 20 were caused by distracted driving.
Drugged driving is another form of impaired driving that flew under the radar for many years, despite being just as serious as other forms of impaired driving. According to the NHTSA, 23 percent of drivers under 25 who were in fatal accidents tested positive for drugs.
Michigan legislators are doing their part to help prevent impaired driving. In the current legislative session, many bills have been approved to help provide guidelines and strict rules for dealing with instances of drugged, drunk and distracted driving.
Reps. Jenkins and Lauwers introduced bills that extends the DWI/Sobriety Court Interlock Pilot Project and will help the program expand across the state. Legislators have also cracked down on “super drunk drivers” creating harsher penalties for drivers with a Blood Alcohol Content of .17 or higher.
Additionally, legislation to maintain the Michigan’s drunk driving penalties was also passed helping to ensure the safety of everyone on the road. Finally, the Governor has signed landmark legislation introduced in the House that would crack down on drugged drivers across the state.
This is a important topic in the Legislature because the safety of Michigan’s residents is of utmost importance. House Republicans are steadfast in keeping Michiganders safe, and are currently considering a bill package to lower the BAC limit from .10 to .08 for drivers of snowmobiles, ORVs and motorized boats.
Learn more about impaired driving prevention here: