Increased law enforcement presence nets DWI arrests over weekend

Monday, August 29, 2011 | 4:14 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Law enforcement agencies arrested 17 people on suspicion of driving drunk over the weekend, a result of the increase in the number of drivers on the road and a saturation effort by troopers.

The Boone County Sheriff’s Department jail log showed all the driving-while-intoxicated arrests made by multiple agencies between 7 p.m. Thursday and 7 a.m. Sunday. The Missouri State Highway Patrol made 10 of those arrests, the Columbia Police Department six and the sheriff’s department one.

According to a news release from the Highway Patrol, many of the arrests were a result of a saturation program through which the agency increased the number of troopers on the road in certain areas to catch drunk drivers.

“Our top priority is to remove impaired drivers from the road,” patrol spokesman Sgt. Paul Reinsch said.

Reinsch confirmed that the return of students to local campuses increased the volume of late-night traffic on the roadways.

“We concentrated on those certain counties where we’ve had problems in the past,” Reinsch said.

Boone County has a high frequency of DWI incidents, Reinsch said. During a saturation, troopers are assigned to focus on patrolling certain zones, and he said Boone County is one of these zones. 

At this point, there are no saturations being planned for Boone County in the near future, Reinsch said.

The saturation effort resulted in the following arrests: 

  • 10 people on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.
  • 11 people on suspicion of speeding.
  • 23 people for alleged seat belt violations.
  • Two people for alleged child restraint violations.
  • Eight people on suspicion of other hazardous moving violations.
  • 17 people on suspicion of non-moving violations.
  • Three people for alleged driver's license violations.
  • Six people on suspicion of being minors in possession of alcohol.
  • One misdemeanor warrant.
  • One alleged misdemeanor drug infraction.

Officers also issued 190 warnings.

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