Two arrested during St. Patrick’s day weekend sobriety enforcement

Tuesday, March 18, 2008 | 7:23 p.m. CDT; updated 9:24 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

COLUMBIA — Missouri State Highway Patrol officers were watching for drunk drivers in Boone County over St. Patrick’s Day weekend.

The highway patrol conducted a sobriety saturation enforcement on Saturday by sending out extra officers to patrol for traffic violations with the intent of catching drunk drivers, said Sgt. Paul Reinsch of the highway patrol.

Troopers stopped 44 vehicles for traffic violations, according to a highway patrol news release. Of those stops, two people were arrested for driving while intoxicated and 11 others were issued citations for traffic violations like speeding or illegal lane usage. Reinsch said the highway patrol also gave 52 vocal warnings about traffic violations when officers decided not to issue tickets.

Reinsch said the highway patrol conducted the sobriety saturation because it was St. Patrick’s Day weekend and the weekend before Spring Break.

“We concentrate on an area where we’re having a high number of alcohol-related crashes or an event where there are going to be a lot of people who might be drinking,” he said.

Reinsch said problems with drunk driving often occur because people don’t plan rides for the evening ahead of time.

“Once they start drinking their judgment is the first thing affected,” he said. “So they’re more likely to get behind the wheel.”

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