Cassville Police Department aims to reduce drunk driving

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

"Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign comes near St. Patrick's Day

Local police will be out in full force as part of the annual nationwide St. Patrick's Day Holiday "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" crackdown on drunk driving.

The crackdown, which will include high-visibility enforcement throughout Cassville, will run from March 14 to March 17.

The nationwide drunk driving crackdown will include high-visibility enforcement, high-profile events and will be supported by national paid advertising, creating a comprehensive campaign to curb drunk driving over the St. Patrick's Day holiday.

The Cassville Police Department said its officers will be aggressively looking for drunk drivers during the crackdown, and will arrest anyone caught driving drunk.

Although it is illegal in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to drive drunk, having a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher, 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 impaired drivers or motorcycle operators," said Cpl. Donald Privett with the Cassville Police Department. "In 2013, 218 people were killed and 666 seriously injured on Missouri's roadways in accidents that involved at least one substance-impaired driver."

Privett added the St. Patrick's Day holiday is particularly dangerous. During the St. Patrick's Day holiday in 2013, 412 DWI arrests were made statewide.

Research has shown that high-visibility enforcement, like the "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign, reduces drunk driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent. "By joining this nationwide effort we will make Cassville's roadways safer for everyone throughout the holiday," said Dana Kammerlohr, Cassville police chief. "We want to remind everyone that getting behind the wheel drunk is a terrible idea. Unfortunately, not only does drinking 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 choose to drive impaired, you will be arrested -- no warnings, and no excuses."

Privett noted that being arrested for driving drunk brings a wide range of negative consequences into one's life. Drunk 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 job. When family, friends and co-workers find out, violators also often face tremendous personal embarrassment.

"Driving drunk is simply not worth the risk," Privett said. "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 at www.TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov, or visit www.saveMOlives.com