Gladstone MSP reports more drunken driving arrests during pandemic


GLADSTONE, Mich. (WJMN) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s order telling people to stay home to help slow the spread of coronavirus may have led some to drink more, and that in turn is leading to an increase in drunken driving arrests, according to the Michigan State Police Gladstone Post.

“We are definitely seeing a notable, visible increase in the amount of arrests for drunk drivings and operating under the influence of drugs — and it’s occurring at all times of day, whereas historically that’s generally an evening or nighttime type of offense,” MSP Sgt. Joeseph Racicot said.

There are multiple factors at play in the increase in arrests.

“With the COVID-19, the lockdown, people are at home. Several people have been unemployed for the duration of this time up to this point. A lot of people are finding ways to relax. They’re consuming alcoholic beverages, then making the poor choice to drive,” Racicot said.

MSP wants to remind people to be safe, especially with the partial reopening of the northern Lower Peninsula and Upper Peninsula Friday.

“Please go out and enjoy yourselves. Support the local businesses. Many of them are run by your friends. However, plan ahead make sure you have a safe way to get home so that you make it home and everyone else on the road makes it home safely,” Racicot said.

Extra patrols will be out during the Memorial Day holiday weekend targeting impaired driving, aggressive and reckless driving, and seat belt enforcement.

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