New Year's is almost here, which means one thing: a lot of people will be drinking and they'll need some way to get home.
Every year, downtown Birmingham expects thousands of holiday-makers ready to ring in the new year. If you're one of those heading out to party, however, do you know how many drinks you can have before you're in danger of getting a drunk driving violation?
When police pull drivers over for suspected drunken driving, officers ask them to perform field sobriety tests and to take a breath test to measure Blood Alcohol Content.
A BAC test measures the percentage of alcohol present in a person's bloodstream. Michigan's legal limit is 0.08.
According to the Virginia Tech Alcohol Abuse Prevention website, every 40 minutes, 0.01 percent of alcohol leaves your system.
In Birmingham alone, police are used to arresting residents and visitors alike for driving under the influence of alcohol. Last Sunday, Birmingham police arrested a Shelby Township man and West Bloomfield woman for drunk driving, one on Woodward and another at Maple and Cambridge.
Drunk driving was also the reason a Royal Oak woman was found driving the the wrong way on Woodward on Dec. 13, as well as a wrong-way crash that sent a Rochester Hills man to the hospital in Bloomfield Hills on Dec. 12.
Still, Deputy Police Chief Mark Clemence said alcohol-related driving violations don't tend to spike locally during the holidays — they're a problem, year round, he said.
In 2011, the Birmingham Police Department made 43 arrests for operating a vehicle while intoxicated, down from 52 in 2010 and 65 in 2009.