County deputies to participate in enforcement effort

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Barry County Sheriff's Department will participate in a statewide holiday enforcement campaign from Dec. 5 through Dec. 12 to help deter individuals from drinking and driving.

"Losing a loved one during the holiday season is a tragedy no one should have to endure," said Barry County Sheriff Mick Epperly. "Impaired driving is a preventable crime, and we intend to crack down so drivers feel secure when traveling on Missouri roadways."

Enforcement efforts are designed to focus on reducing deaths and serious injures caused by impaired drivers.

If an individual is caught driving while intoxicated, their license will be suspended for 30 days. The suspension will continue for an additional 60 days if a hardship license is not obtained.

A second conviction will result in a $1,000 fine and a one year revocation of the driver's license. Individuals convicted of their second offense can be sentenced to up to a year in jail and required to install an ignition interlock system on their vehicle preventing the car from starting when the driver has alcohol on their breath.

Individuals who are convicted of driving while intoxicated three or more times can be penalized with up to a $5,000 fine and a 10-year license denial. They can also be sentenced to up to seven years in jail.

An intoxicated driver who causes a fatal crash can be charged with involuntary manslaughter, a felony that results in up to seven years in jail and a $5,000 fine.

Last year, 240 people in Missouri were killed and 962 people were seriously injured in crashes involving impaired drivers.

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