LANSING, Mich. — Crash data shows a spike in drunk driving and failure to use seat belts in March and early April, right around the NCAA basketball tournaments, a coincidence not lost on the Michigan State Police.
MSP has a drunk driving crackdown underway now through April 8, the night of the NCAA men’s basketball championship game.
The crackdown includes 26 Michigan counties and law enforcement in those counties in addition to state troopers. In West Michigan, Allegan, Berrien, Calhoun, Kalamazoo, Kent, Muskegon, and Ottawa Counties are included.
Over a five-year period, data showed alcohol use was enough to increase fatal and serious injury crashes during the same period that March Madness in men’s and women’s basketball was underway. So federal funds administered by the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning (OHSP) were allocated to pay for a crackdown period. In 2012, more than 2,400 people in Michigan were arrested for drunk driving during March Madness.
“A motorist’s best defense is to designate a sober driver,” said OHSP Director Michael Prince in a release.