Franklin County Officers to Crack Down on Underage Drinking - The Missourian: News

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Franklin County Officers to Crack Down on Underage Drinking

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Posted: Sunday, April 29, 2012 6:00 pm | Updated: 3:03 pm, Thu Oct 24, 2013.

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office wants to make sure Franklin County youth are celebrating safe and sober this prom season.

In cooperation with law enforcement agencies across the state and the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) the sheriff’s office will crack down on underage drunk driving and minors in possession of alcohol May 3-13.

It is illegal for anyone under 21 to possess or consume alcohol in Missouri, yet youth make up a significant proportion of drunk drivers causing traffic crashes on Missouri roadways. Many drunk drivers are under the age of 21.

From 2009-11, there were 83 fatal crashes and 233 disabling injury crashes involving an impaired driver under 21. There were 94 people killed and 368 seriously injured in these crashes.

Franklin County ranked fourth in Missouri for traffic crashes from 2009-11 including 41 crashes involving drivers under 21 that occurred in unincorporated areas of the county. During the same time period there were four fatal crashes and four disabling injury crashes involving an impaired driver under 21.

Missouri has a Zero Tolerance Law. Anyone under the age of 21 caught driving with even a trace of alcohol in their system will have their license suspended.

“Drinking and driving is not worth the risk,” said Leanna Depue, chair of the executive committee of the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety. “Zero tolerance means zero chances: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”

Consequences of drunk driving include jail time, loss of their driver licenses, or being sentenced to use ignition interlocks. Insurance rates go up. Other financial hits include attorney fees and court costs. When family and friends find out, violators can also face tremendous personal embarrassment and humiliation.

In 2011 in Missouri, 217 people were killed and 867 seriously injured in crashes involving an impaired driver. For more information, people may visit www.saveMOlives.com.

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