The state of Michigan has plans for addressing DUIs during Thanksgiving weekend. As a motorist, you could find yourself caught up in the state's efforts to stop impaired driving. Sometimes, the actions of state officials could result in your arrest and could have profound consequences for you. You need to know your rights as the state engages in aggressive efforts to fight impaired driving during one of the more dangerous times of the year.
The Michigan State Police have provided a comprehensive description of their plans for addressing DUIs during Thanksgiving. The police will be organizing and participating in Operation C.A.R.E., which stands for Combined Accident Reduction Effort. C.A.R.E. is an annual program which spans a four day period around Thanksgiving. The Operation begins on Wednesday before Thanksgiving and goes through Saturday night after the holiday.
The goal of C.A.R.E. is explained by the Michigan State Police. C.A.R.E. is organized to "prevent traffic crashes and fatalities so every family can have a safe holiday." The police aim to accomplish this goal by targeting distracted drivers and impaired drivers. Techniques used to target these drivers includes, among other things, "high-visibility enforcement." There will be extra police officers out patrolling, with the costs covered by federal safety funds which were coordinated for the state by the Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning.
In addition to the crackdown, other efforts are also being made to stop the public from driving drunk. There are campaigns including the Give Thanks. Drive Safely public awareness campaign. This campaign took a creative approach to discussing road safety, incorporating elements of traditional Thanksgiving items which are connected in some way to driving. The Michigan State Police also partnered with the Michigan Licensed Beverage Association in 2015 in order to help draw more attention to public safety efforts of the Give Thanks. Drive Safely campaign by including the phrase on drink coasters distributed to bars, restaurants' and other locations with high alcohol consumption.
The police organize C.A.R.E. because there are more traffic fatalities over the holiday season in Michigan than on any other days of the year. With six traffic fatalities over Thanksgiving in 2014 (the lowest number in four decades) and 12 fatalities in 2013, it should come as no surprise the fatality rates are higher during Thanksgiving than on a normal day. Thanksgiving is actually the second most dangerous holiday for deadly crashes.
Unfortunately, there are many situations in which motorists end up getting caught up in police crackdowns and sometimes their constitutional rights are violated in the process. The efforts of the police to aggressively go after impaired drivers do not give the license to disregard the protections that the constitution affords to you. If police stop you in violation of your rights and this results in a criminal case against you, you can fight to keep the illegally obtained evidence from being used to secure conviction.