Franklin County Sheriff’s Office will be out in full force as part of the annual nationwide holiday DWI enforcement crackdown “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” on substance impaired driving. The enforcement throughout Franklin County will run through Jan. 1, 2018.
The effective nationwide substance impaired driving crackdown will include high-visibility enforcement, high-profile events, and will be supported by national paid advertising, creating a comprehensive campaign to curb substance impaired driving over the holiday DWI enforcement crackdown.
Lt. Michael Richardson said deputies will be aggressively looking for substance impaired drivers during the crackdown and will arrest anyone caught driving impaired by alcohol and/or drugs.
Although it is illegal in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to drive impaired (having a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher), far too many people across the nation get behind the wheel after consuming too much alcohol or drugs. The latest statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration underscore the serious nature of the nation’s continuing impaired-driving epidemic.
“Twenty-five percent of all Missouri motor vehicle traffic deaths in 2016 involved one or more substance impaired driver or motorcycle operator,” said Richardson.
There were 233 fatalities and 700 serious injuries in 2016 that involved at least one substance-impaired driver. That equates to one substance-impaired driving fatality every 1 1/2 days and one substance-impaired driving serious injury every half day.
Richardson added the holiday weekend is particularly dangerous. During the Christmas and New Year’s Eve holiday in 2016, from Dec. 15, 2016 through Jan. 1, 2017, there were 44 fatalities and 193 serious injuries, with seven fatalities and 14 serious injuries that involved at least one substance impaired driver.
“Research has shown that high-visibility enforcement like the ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ campaign reduces substance impaired driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent. By joining this nationwide effort, we will make Franklin County’s roadways safer for everyone throughout the holiday,” said Richardson.
He noted that being arrested for driving impaired brings a wide range of negative consequences into one’s life. Substance impaired drivers face jail time, loss of their driver licenses, and steep financial consequences such as higher insurance rates, attorney fees, court costs, lost time at work, and the potential loss of a job. When family, friends and co-workers find out, violators also often face tremendous personal embarrassment.