According to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, every 53 minutes, someone in the United States dies in an alcohol-related accident.
These crashes increase during the summer, with August being the highest. And with Labor Day closing in, law enforcement is cracking down.
â??Around those holiday seasons, itâ??s going to increase because of the amount of people on the road,â?? said Captain David Lemire, Marquette County Sheriffâ??s Department.
Law enforcement in 26 counties is participating in the â??Drive Sober or get Pulled Overâ?? initiative. Extra officers, that are specially trained, will be on patrol to detect and arrest drunk drivers on the spot.
â??It's zero tolerance,â?? Lemire added. â??If you are drunk driving, you are going to go to jail.â??
According to the FBI, impaired driving is the highest committed crime and led to 1.4 million arrests in 2012 nationwide. A first offense can cost up to $5,000.
â??You're talking insurance increases, fines and costs for the court, fees to the state, attorney fees, missed work,â?? said George Hyde, a defense attorney. â??It really doesnâ??t pay to take the risk.â??
Aside from costs, first conviction penalties include jail time, community service and six points on a license, facing suspension.
A first offender convicted with a blood alcohol content of, or over, .17 face even higher fines, jail time, a year-long alcohol treatment program and possibly a breathalyzer installed in their vehicle if they get some of their driving privileges back.