Police to increase drunk-driving enforcement during holidays

Monday, December 23, 2013 | 5:50 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — The Columbia Police Department will be increasing the number of officers on patrol to catch drunk drivers during the holidays.

Traffic Unit Supervisor Sgt. Curtis Perkins said the Police Department will have anywhere from two to five extra officers on the weekends and on the nights of the holidays. The increased enforcement will last through Jan. 2, 2014.

In a news release, the department reminds residents that the consequences of impaired driving as follows:

  • For the first offense (or first in five years), your license will be suspended for 30 days followed by a 60-day suspension if you can not get a hardship license;
  • For the second offense, you will receive a $1,000 fine, your license will be revoked for a year, and you could receive up to a year in jail; you will also have to install an ignition interlock system in your vehicle, which prevents your car from starting when alcohol is on your breath;
  • For the third and subsequent offenses, you could be fined up to $5,000, lose your license for 10 years and/or face up to seven years in jail;
  • If you cause a fatal crash while driving drunk, you can be charged with involuntary manslaughter, a felony resulting in up to seven years of jail time, a $5,000 fine or both.

Traffic crashes resulted in 216 alcohol-related deaths and 52 drug-related deaths in 2012, according to Capt. Tim Hull of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

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