Extra police watching for dangerous St. Patrick's Day drivers

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FLINT (WJRT) (3/16/2018) - Michigan State Police officials want revelers and sports fans to enjoy St. Patrick's Day and the NCAA basketball tournament this weekend -- but do so safely.

Police will have extra eyes on the roads looking for impaired and aggressive drivers all weekend. Additional patrols will be added to major freeways and back roads.

Troopers are taking part in an international traffic safety effort known as Operation C.A.R.E., which stands for "Crash Awareness and Reduction Efforts."

They're looking for what they consider the three main causes of highway fatalities -- aggressive driving, which includes speeding; impaired driving due to drugs or alcohol; and people not wearing their seat belts.

Police are urging everyone who drinks too much to have a designated driver, call a taxi or hire an Uber.

Michigan State Police Sgt. Rick Jones said if knowing intoxicated or aggressive drivers could kill someone isn't a big enough deterrent, people need to remember the long-lasting impact a a charge will have for them.

"A lot of times during these events you get people that are going to be incarcerated," he said. "Well, you're not going to be arraigned for a couple days."

Jones said anyone arrested on Saturday can expect to spend the rest of the weekend behind bars and still miss a day of work on Monday.

"If you get arrested on Saturday and you have to work on Monday, you're still in jail," he said. "People don't think that far in advance. They just want to go out and have fun. Just be smart about it and don't yourself at risk."

The extra patrols begin Friday night and will continue around the clock through midnight Saturday night.

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