DEXTER, MO (KFVS) - Local and state law enforcement in Missouri will be out in full force as part of the annual nationwide Youth Alcohol Enforcement Crackdown "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" The crackdown, which will include high-visibility enforcement throughout Dexter, will run from May 4 through May 15.
The effective nationwide substance impaired driving crackdown will include high-visibility enforcement, high-profile events and will be supported by national paid advertising, creating a comprehensive campaign to curb substance impaired driving during the enforcement period.
Dexter police officers will be aggressively looking for substance impaired drivers during the crackdown and will arrest anyone caught driving impaired.
Although it is illegal in all 50 States, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to drive impaired (having a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher), far too many people across the nation get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol or other illegal drugs. The latest statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration underscore the serious nature of the nation's continuing drunk driving epidemic.
"Every year, about one third of all motor vehicle traffic deaths involve one or more substance- impaired drivers or motorcycle operators," Dexter Police Chief Sammy Stone said. "In 2016, 196 people were killed and 652 seriously injured on Missouri's roadways in crashes that involved at least one substance impaired driver."
That works out to approximately one substance impaired driver involved fatality every two days.
Chief Stone added the St. Patrick's Day holiday is particularly dangerous. During the Youth Alcohol Enforcement Campaign, May 5 - 16, 2016, 10 people were seriously injured involving at least one substance impaired driver that was under the age of 21.
Research has shown that high-visibility enforcement like the "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign reduces substance impaired driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent.
By joining this nationwide effort, "we will make [local area]'s roadways safer for everyone throughout the holiday," Chief Stone said.
"We want to remind everyone that getting behind the wheel impaired is a terrible idea," Chief Stone said. "Unfortunately, not only does being under the influence impair your ability to operate a vehicle safely, it also impairs your judgment and good sense about whether you can, or should drive. If you have any doubt about your sobriety, do not get behind the wheel. If you do chose to drive impaired, you will be arrested. No warnings. No excuses."
Chief Stone noted that being arrested for driving under the influence of any substance brings a wide range of negative consequences into one's life. Substance impaired drivers face jail time, loss of their driver licenses and steep financial consequences, such as higher insurance rates, attorney fees, court costs, lost time at work and the potential loss of their job. When family, friends and co-workers find out, violators also often face tremendous personal embarrassment.
"Driving while impaired is simply not worth the risk," Chief Stone added. "So don't take the chance. Remember, we will be out in force and we will be watching, so drive sober or get pulled over.
For more information, visit the "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" Campaign Headquarters or click here for more.