Cassville to crack down on drunk drivers

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Department joins nationwide St. Patrick's Day initiative

The Cassville Police Department 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 Saturday March 14-17.

Along with the high-visibility enforcement, the crackdown 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.

The department said although it is illegal in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to drive with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or higher, far too many people across the nation 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 drunk driving epidemic.

"Every year, about one third of all motor vehicle traffic deaths involve one or more impaired drivers or motorcycle operators," said Dana Kammerlohr, Cassville police chief. "In 2013, 218 people were killed and 666 seriously injured on Missouri's roadways in accidents that involved at least one substance-impaired driver".

Kammerlohr added the St. Patrick's Day Holiday is particularly dangerous. During the St. Patrick's Day holiday in 2014, 247 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," she said. "By joining this nationwide effort, we will make Cassville's roadways safer for everyone throughout the holiday."

Kammerlohr said the campaign aims 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," she said. "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."

Kammerlohr said 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, she said.

"Driving drunk is simply not worth the risk," Kammerlohr said. "So, don't take the chance. Remember, we will be out in force and we will be watching, so, 'Driver Sober or Get Pulled Over.'"

For more information, people may visit the "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" Campaign Headquarters at wwwTrafficSafetyMarketing.gov, or www.saveMOlives.com.

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