MI State Police reports increase in drunk driving arrests during pandemic


GLADSTONE, Mich. (WJMN) – During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are having to stay home for long periods of time, which may result in some people increasing their alcohol consumption.

Michigan State Police (MSP) Gladstone Post says its troopers have recently been making more arrests for drunk drivings.

“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,” said Sergeant Joeseph Racicot.

There are multiple factors at play for 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,” said Racicot.

MSP wants to remind people to be safe, especially with the partial reopening of Northern and Upper Michigan on 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,” said Racicot.

Extra patrols will be out this holiday weekend targeting impaired driving, aggressive and reckless driving, along with seatbelt use enforcement.

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