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Zero-tolerance drunk driving, seat belt enforcement begins today

• Aug 17, 2018 at 11:00 AM

The Ottawa County's Sheriff's Office will be joining police agencies across the state beginning this weekend to prioritize drunk driving and seat belt enforcement with extra officers on the road and zero tolerance for lawbreakers.

Today and Saturday, and again Aug. 24-25, additional patrol cars will be out in West Michigan aimed at getting drunk drivers off the road.

Last year, 320 people died in Michigan as a result of alcohol-involved car crashes and 221 died in drug-involved crashes.

On Aug. 31, when many residents hit the road for the Labor Day weekend, deputies will be watching closely for seat belt use.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data shows there were 10,428 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes in the United States in 2016. If all passenger vehicle occupants age 5 and older involved in fatal crashes had worn their seat belts, an additional 2,456 lives could have been saved.

"It is a proven fact that seat belts reduce injuries and save lives,” Ottawa County Sheriff Steve Kempker said. “It takes just an extra few seconds to buckle up. This isn't about a ticketing campaign — this is about saving lives."

Ottawa County's drunk driving and seat belt enforcement campaign is supported with funds from the U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and coordinated by the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning.

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