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Michigan State Police

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Law enforcement officials in 40 Michigan counties are kicking off a new enforcement campaign aimed at curbing drunken driving.

The "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign starts Friday and runs through Sept. 1, including the Labor Day weekend.

Law enforcement officers from 150 local police departments, sheriff offices and Michigan State Police posts will conduct stepped up drunk driving and seat belt enforcement.

As part of the effort, the campaign is using the fictitious Traffic Safety Brewing Company to get its message through to drivers.  "Call a Cab Cider" and "Left My Keys at Home Lager" are safety-themed brews reminding people to drink alcohol responsibly.

Additional details, including a list of counties involved, are posted on the Michigan State Police website.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan is edging closer to ending its very unpopular Driver Responsibility fees.

The state fees were created a decade ago to help raise much needed-money for the state budget.

People with driving violations, like drunk driving, have to pay the fees which can climb to a couple thousand dollars.

Joe Haveman is a state representative from Holland. He says the fees are unfair.

Who's up for the next beer run?
Matt Lehrer / Flickr

What happens when a house party is going full tilt and the beer runs out?

Chances are someone goes on a beer run. And chances are that "someone" has had a few drinks.

A new business that's opened in Ann Arbor aims to keep the party going without that "someone" having to get behind the wheel of a car.

DrinkDrivers is a new website and mobile app launched by a group of University of Central Florida grads who decided to make Ann Arbor its second launch location.

DrinkDrivers CEO Jeff Nadel joined us to explain how it works.

*Listen to the interview above.

Dave Trumpie / Capitol Gains

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Local, county and state law enforcement officials say they're stepping up patrols to catch drunken drivers during a period that includes St. Patrick's Day, the NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments and spring break.

The Michigan State Police said this week that officers from 144 agencies in 26 counties are part of the crackdown that runs through April 7. The effort is coordinated by the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning and receives federal traffic safety funds.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Flint’s emergency manager is calling for the resignation of a city councilman who was arrested last weekend for driving under the influence.  The councilman says he won’t resign.

Councilman Eric Mays was arrested and charged with DUI and marijuana possession early last Saturday along I-475 in Flint.     

Emergency Manager Darnell Earley cited the arrest and other reasons why Mays should resign from the seat he was elected to just last month.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

FLINT, Mich. (AP) - A Flint city councilman is being held in the city lockup on suspicion of drunken driving and drug possession.

Police Chief James Tolbert tells The Flint Journal that Eric Bradford Mays was arrested for operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and possession of marijuana.

Mays was arrested about 2:50 a.m. Saturday on Interstate 475 by police investigating a traffic accident. Police say Mays was trying to change a flat when officers arrived.

The Associated Press left a voicemail Saturday at a number listed under Mays' name.

user elioja / Flickr

On Tuesday, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that medical marijuana patients are not automatically breaking the law if caught driving after using marijuana.

Passed in 2008 by Michigan voters, the state’s Medical Marihuana Act does prohibit patients from operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of pot.

But the law fails to explicitly say just how much THC, marijuana’s active ingredient, needs to be in the bloodstream for a user to be considered “under the influence.”

Which is why the justices offered this piece of advice to lawmakers: Set a legal limit for pot consumption, just like the blood alcohol content metric for alcohol intoxication.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan boaters and snowmobilers would be held to the same drunken driving standards as drivers under legislation introduced in the state House.

The bipartisan package of bills was introduced by Republican Reps. Matt Lori of Constantine and Dave Pagel of Berrien Springs and Democratic Rep. Andrew Kandrevas of Southgate. The legislation would set the legal blood-alcohol limit for boat, snowmobile and off-road vehicle operators at 0.08 percent.

user Dinner Series / Flickr

The Michigan State Police, Michigan's Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), and other groups are urging lawmakers to maintain the state's 0.08 percent blood-alcohol content drunk driving threshold.

As the law stands now, the threshold is set to increase to .10 percent on October 1 of this year.

In the current law, "operating while intoxicated" includes the following:

Seat belt
user Gerdbrendel / Wikimedia Commons

State police say an annual Michigan enforcement crackdown on motorists who fail to use seat belts and child safety seats led to 8,050 citations. That's down about 1,000 from 2011.

This year's Click It or Ticket campaign ran from May 21 to June 1.

State police say they have reports from law enforcement agencies in 26 counties. They say a preliminary count shows that officers stopped 14,761 vehicles during the crackdown.

The state has reported a slight drop in the rate of seat belt law compliance, from a record-high 97.9 percent in 2009 to 94.5 percent in 2011.

The enforcement effort led to a number of other citations, including 95 drunken driving arrests and 53 drug arrests. Thy also cited about 1,000 insurance violations and 535 suspended license violations.

Official website

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Test results say state Rep. Bob Genetski's blood-alcohol level was at a point considered intoxicated under Michigan law about an hour and a half after his drunken driving arrest.

MLive.com reports  Genetski's blood-alcohol level was at Michigan's legal limit of 0.08 percent following the early Jan. 19 traffic stop in East Lansing. The news organization obtained the results of the court-ordered test following a Freedom of Information Act request.

Genetski's attorney, Mike Nichols, on Wednesday told The Associated Press he was restrained from commenting about the results of the test because they would be evidence.

The Saugatuck Republican was arrested after he refused to take a Breathalyzer test. He was ticketed and his drunken driving case is pending.