Law enforcement warns about impaired driving during holidays

Law enforcement warns about impaired driving during holidays
source: Raycom Media

MISSOURI (KFVS) - The Fourth of July is one of the deadliest holidays of the year due to alcohol-impaired driving crashes.

That's one of the reasons local law enforcement will be out in full force June 29- July 4 seeking impaired drivers.

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"Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs has serious consequences," said Nicole Hood, MoDOT highway safety and traffic engineer.  "In 2017, statewide, law enforcement made 110 driving while intoxicated arrests, ten driving under the influence arrests, three drug influence arrests and 11 minor in possession arrests during the July 4 impaired driving campaign."

According to the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety, there were 26 people killed and 72 seriously injured in traffic crashes in Missouri over the 2017 July 4 holiday. Of the 26 people killed, 16 were involved in a crash where there was at least one substance-impaired driver.

Violators risk killing or harming others, face jail time, the loss of their driver licenses, higher insurance rates and dozens of other unanticipated expenses from attorney fees, fines and court costs, car towing and repairs, and lost time at work.

The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety said there's no reason to risk "losing your independence by choosing to drink and drive." There will be no warnings and no excuses: if you drive impaired, you will be arrested.

The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety recommends these simple tips to avoid a drunk-driving disaster:

  • Plan a safe way home before the fun begins.
  • Before drinking, designate a sober driver.
  • If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation so you are sure to get home safely.
  • Always wear your seat belt.  It’s your best defense in any traffic crash.
  • If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to call local law enforcement.

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