Mothers Against Drunk Drivers has rated Michigan as a two-star state stating that it has much work to do to reduce drunk driving related accidents. In particular, over this past year in Michigan, drunk driving fatalities have decreased by 2.3% from the previous year, there have been 34,393 DUI arrests, 16,470 convictions, and 3,636 DUI chemical test refusals statewide. Though DUI related incidents have decreased over the years, drunk driving arrests are projected to increase. Read on to learn more.
Michigan Drunk Driving Statistics
A major reason drunk driving related incidents have been on the decline in Michigan is a direct result of heightened laws. For example, Michigan’s ignition interlock program has reduced recidivism amongst some offenders. Upon completion of the program, DUI offenders were 3 times less likely to drive under the influence of alcohol within three years of their initial conviction.
Between 2006 to 2011, drunk driving arrests declined in Michigan due to there being higher penalties and fewer police officers on the road. For example, the Great Recession in 2008 caused an economic crisis on state and local agencies throughout Michigan. As a result, small budgets left police departments with little to no resources for drunk driving enforcement. Fewer police officers were available for routine traffic control and surveillance that typically led to drunk driving arrests.
In 2003, Michigan lowered the blood alcohol content (BAC) threshold from .10% to .08%. In 2010, Michigan imposed a super drunk driver law to enhance penalties, fines and sentencing on drunk drivers with a BAC of .17% or higher. The implementation of the new laws has also, ironically, resulted in fewer drunk driving arrests because of the decrease in available law enforcement personnel.
As of 2012, Washtenaw County police agencies reported an increase in drunk driving arrests. In Ann Arbor, 132 drunk driving arrests were made in 2012. This was in large part due to having more police officers on the road.
“The more people who are out there, the more you’re going to run across those,” Baird said. “Most drunk drivers are contacted due to traffic offenses. The more officers, the more contacts they’re going to make, the more drunk drivers are going to be discovered.”
With local police agencies obtaining more resources to monitor drunk drivers, Michigan DUI arrests are projected to increase. If you or a loved one has been arrested for drunk driving in the Washtenaw County area, contact my law office for a free consultation. I can review your case and provide you with options on how to best proceed for your criminal defense.