COLUMBIA – The Missouri State Highway Patrol is preparing to increase enforcement efforts to discourage people from driving while under the influence, according to a release from the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
From Dec. 6 through 12, Missouri troopers will concentrate on reducing fatalities and serious injuries caused by impaired drivers.
According to the release, the increased efforts are funded by a grant from the Missouri Department of Transportation’s Highway Safety Division for participating in the “You Drink and Drive, You Lose" campaign, which aims to reduce fatal and serious accidents caused by motorists driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
The grant will be divided among all troops in Missouri, and the increased effort will include extra DWI saturation patrols and DWI checkpoints, according to Sergeant Paul Reinsch. Reinsch is the public information and education officer for Troop F, which serves Boone County and 12 other counties in mid-Missouri.
“No one wants to remember the holiday season as a time when they have lost a loved one due to this preventable tragedy,” Troop F Captain Gregory D. Kindle said in the release.
In the release, troopers said some consequences of driving under the influence include:
- The first conviction (or first conviction in over five years) will result in a suspended license for 30 days followed by a 60-day suspension if the hardship license allowing limited driving privileges is not obtained.
- The second conviction will result in a $1,000 fine, a year-long revocation of a license and up to a year in jail. The driver must also install an ignition interlock system on the vehicle, which prevents the car from starting if there is alcohol on the driver’s breath.
- The third and subsequent convictions can result in a $5,000 fine, a 10-year license denial, and/or up to seven years in jail.
- If the driver causes a fatal crash while intoxicated, he or she may be charged with involuntary manslaughter, a felony resulting in up to seven years in jail, a $5000 fine, or both.
In 2009, 280 people were killed, 1,140 people were seriously injured and 3,719 people sustained minor injuries in crashes involving an impaired driver, the release said.