3-week holiday enforcement campaign begins Friday

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Motorists urged to drive sober or get pulled over

From mid-December through New Year's Day, local police will be out in force as part of the annual nationwide Holiday DWI campaign crackdown on substance-impaired driving. The crackdown, which will include high-visibility enforcement throughout Cassville, will run from Dec. 12, through January 1, 2015.

The effective 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 substance-impaired driving over the holidays.

Cassville Police Chief Dana Kammerlohr said officers will be aggressively looking for drunk drivers during the crackdown and will arrest anyone caught driving substance-impaired.

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), far too many people across the nation still get behind the wheel after consuming too much alcohol. The latest statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration underscore the serious nature of the nation's continuing substance-impaired driving epidemic.

"Every year, about one third of all motor vehicle traffic deaths involve one or more impaired drivers or motorcycle operators," said Kammerlohr. "In 2014, a total of 223 people died in Missouri crashes involving impaired drivers. That works out to approximately one impaired driving fatality every one-and-a-half days."

Kammerlohr added that holidays such as the Christmas and New Year's Eve holiday are particularly dangerous.

"There were 41 people killed and 242 seriously injured in Missouri traffic crashes between Dec. 13, 2013, and Jan. 1," Kammerlohr said. "Four of the fatalities and 32 of the serious injuries involved a substance-impaired driver.

"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," she continued. "By joining this nationwide effort, we will make Cassville's roadways safer for everyone throughout the Christmas and New Year's Holiday."

Chief Kammerlohr noted that being arrested for substance-impaired driving 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.

"We want to remind everyone that getting behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a terrible idea," Kammerlohr said. "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 chose to drive impaired, you will be arrested. No warnings. No excuses."

Officers will be out in force and will be watching, throughout the three-week enforcement period.

For more information, visit www.saveMOlives.com.

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