MARQUETTE COUNTY, Mich. (WJMN) – You’ve heard it time and time again, drive sober or get pulled over. With New Year’s Eve approaching, a Michigan State Police trooper explains why this message is worth repeating.
The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that 427 people may die on U.S. roads this New Year’s Day holiday period. This is due to the increase in road traffic and alcohol consumption. Mixing all of that with Michigan’s unpredictable winter weather is a deadly combination.
“We do tend to have bad weather up here, the roads are snowy and icy and when you mix alcohol, drugs, or even prescription medication sometimes it impairs your ability to operate a motor vehicle and the likelihood that you’re going to be involved in a crash significantly increases, especially on bad road conditions,” Tpr. Alan Park with the MSP Negaunee Post said.
There will be more law enforcement on the roads this weekend.
“We have a job to do and we have to have people on the road working, keeping dangerous motorists off the road, and keeping people safe. If we weren’t out there, it’d probably be anarchy and people would probably just be doing whatever they want,” Park said “But, you have high visibility patrols and the potential consequence of driving around, it does deter people or make people think twice before getting behind the wheel after they’ve consumed alcohol or narcotics.”
Park recalls a time when he was on patrol duty on a past New Year’s Eve.
“I’m from a fire and EMS background, I’ve responded to both in the career and this career several fatal traffic crashes that were easily avoidable what alcohol was at the time a factor in a lot of those crashes. I’ve had to go to autopsies after someone was killed in a crash. Sometimes they were my age. It’s a huge eye-opener when you had to see something like that. It just kind of reminds you that you’re not invincible out there,” he said.
If you do go out on this holiday weekend, make a plan ahead of time to make sure you get home safe at the end of the night.