Law enforcement seeking impaired drivers over Independence Day holiday.
JEFFERSON CITY – If you make the choice to drive while impaired over the upcoming holiday weekend, the red, white and blue flashing lights of your Independence Day holiday may be those of a patrol car – and the view of the fireworks is not so good from a local jail cell.
The Fourth of July is one of the deadliest holidays of the year due to substance-impaired driving crashes. Law enforcement will be out in full force July 3-5 seeking impaired drivers through increased sobriety checkpoints, roving and saturation patrols and other enforcement methods. There are no warnings and no excuses; if you drive impaired, you will be arrested. Last year, there were 381 DWI arrests statewide over the course of the Fourth of July impaired driving campaign, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.
“One fatality on our highways is too many, and there is no excuse for driving while you are impaired,” said Colonel J. Bret Johnson, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Over the 2015 July holiday, 14 people were killed and 46 were seriously injured in Missouri traffic crashes. Three of the fatalities and eight serious injuries involved a substance-impaired driver. “Impaired driving is an intentional, conscious decision, and it is preventable - always choose a sober designated driver,” said Johnson.
Often, people have a hard time recuperating financially from the cost of an arrest or the crash itself. Violators risk killing or harming others, facing jail time, losing their driver licenses, paying higher insurance rates and dozens of other unanticipated expenses from attorney fees, paying for fines and court costs, paying for car towing and repairs and losing time at work.
The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety recommends these simple tips to avoid an impaired-driving disaster:
- Before drinking, designate a sober driver.
- If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member or use public transportation so you are sure to get home safely.
- If you happen to see an impaired driver on the road, don’t hesitate to call 911 or *55.
- Always wear your seat belt. It’s your best defense in any traffic crash.
For more information, visit www.saveMOlives.com, or find them on social media at Save MO Lives.