Key Points of This Article:
- With 35% of fatal crashes involving a driver impaired by alcohol, drunk driving continues to be a cyclical traffic safety issue for drivers across all U.S. states, but especially here in the Midwest, where alcohol-related driving deaths are on the rise.
- Michigan State Police statistics show that nearly half of all fatal crashes in 2019 were linked to drivers who were drinking or taking drugs.
- The average age of Michiganders who drink and drive is 25-34 years old, and Detroit is the community where drunk driving crashes occur most frequently.
- Speeding, distractions, and operating while under the influence of drugs all play contributing roles in Michigan drunk driving crashes.
- Michigan’s ignition interlock program requires interlock devices for habitual DWI offenders
10 Things You May Not Know About Drunk Driving in Michigan
Drunk driving remains a serious issue in Michigan and the cause behind thousands of 100% preventable accident injuries and motor vehicle deaths each year. According to Michigan State Police numbers, of the 902 fatal crashes in Michigan in 2019, 164 involved drinking, 112 involved drugs, and 102 involved a mix of drinking and drugs. To help you understand the growing severity of the problem, here is a list of ten facts our Michigan drunk driving attorneys at Lee Steinberg Law Firm have gathered for review.
- A total of 30,626 people were arrested in Michigan during 2019 for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, according to the state’s annual Drunk Driving Audit report.
- Despite what one may think, the COVID-19 pandemic has not lessened the occurrence of drunk or impaired driving, but instead has caused numbers to increase. A recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study conducted between March and July 2020 found that nearly 65% of seriously or fatally injured road users tested positive for at least one active drug, including alcohol, cannabis, or opioids. The number marked a dramatic increase from the previous six months when the number of drivers testing positive was just under 51%. The spike could be attributed to the growing number of adults turning to drugs and alcohol during the pandemic to manage their stress, anxiety, depression, and mental health concerns.
- The top ten Michigan communities in alcohol-related crashes in 2019 were Detroit (617), Grand Rapids (384), Lansing (123), Kalamazoo (121), Livonia (101), Warren (90), Wyoming (87), Flint (82), Ann Arbor (79), and Pontiac (75).
- Under Michigan Drinking and Driving Law, it is illegal to drive while intoxicated or impaired by alcohol, a controlled substance, or other intoxicating substance with a BAC of 0.08 or more.
- The actual number of alcohol-involved nonfatal crashes is frequently underreported and generally believed to be much higher than noted in public data.
- Out of all Michigan drivers, those between the ages of 25-34 years old are more likely to cause an impaired driving crash.
- In 2019, of the 36-motorcyclist traffic deaths across Michigan, 33 (91.7%) of the motorcycle drivers were coded as drinking.
- Mackinac County, which includes St. Ignace, ranks No. 1 in arrests per capita for driving under the influence of liquor (OUIL) or operating with the presence of drugs (OWPD).
- Michigan may be home to several smart car communities designed to test and assist driver and road safety; however, the new technology doesn’t allow drivers to operate under the influence or provide an opportunity for them to pay less attention while at the wheel.
- Over 25 police agencies tested at least 200 drivers for drinking and driving in 2019. The top three police agencies for testing drivers for drinking and driving included the Kent County Sheriff’s Office (574), Detroit Police (546), and the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office (509).
And remember, according to Michigan State Police, drivers with any amount of a Schedule 1 controlled substance will be subject to the same fines and penalties as drunk drivers, even if they show no signs of impairment. The only exception is an individual who has a valid medical marijuana card.
Holding a Michigan Drunk Driver Accountable for Causing Your Injuries
We are sorry to hear about your Michigan car or truck crash, and our lawyers know just how scary a drunk driving accident can be. Unfortunately, just because you were not at fault does not mean you are automatically entitled to compensation. To make a claim and demonstrate a severe impairment, you must show the car accident caused injuries and documented disruptions, including physical, emotional, and financial damages. These impairments have likely changed your ability to lead an everyday life, such as taking care of your family and going to work.
To begin receiving the help you need, call an experienced Michigan drunk driving lawyer specializing in personal injury. The support team at The Lee Steinberg Law Firm, P.C. knows how to find crash witnesses and take statements. We are experienced in Michigan Drinking and Driving Law and at hiring accident reconstruction experts to solidify liability, can subpoena videos of the accident scene from nearby establishments or the police, and obtain the needed documentation to build your case. Besides Michigan no-fault benefits, a person injured due to a drunk driver can also claim any pain and suffering the drunk driver caused.
Sober and Safe Driving Resources in Michigan
Bottom line, if you are going to use alcohol or drugs, don’t drive. Even after one drink, it just isn’t worth it. Here are some accessible resources in Michigan for hailing a safe and sober ride home.
- Michigan Uber
- Michigan Lyft
- Dryver (Ann Arbor, Detroit, Lansing)
- Green Cab Company (Lansing)
- DD’s Downtown Taxi (Lansing)
- Detroit DD (Greater Detroit)
- Metro Cab GR (Detroit and Grand Rapids)
- The Rapid – The Interurban Transit Partnership (Metro Grand Rapids Area)
- Godspeed Transportation (Kalamazoo and South Haven)
You can also have a plan of how you will get home and designate a sober driver before drinking alcohol, ask a bartender for help getting a safe ride, call a friend or take the bus, or stay overnight at your location when possible.
We Can Start Working for You Today
We understand that proving another driver’s wrongdoing due to their alcohol (or drug) impairment will be a lot of work. Still, we have the required expertise in drunk driving crash investigations and remain highly successful in holding impaired and negligent drivers accountable for their actions.
If you have any questions, please call us at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733). And please know we are happy to help you and be right there when you need us most. Contacting us is free, and there are no fees or costs until we win your case.Learn more from Attorney Eric Steinberg:If you’ve been hit by somebody high on marijuana, give us a call. You have an excellent negligence case.