Cassville police launch holiday DWI enforcement campaign
Officers looking to keep roadways safe
Local police will be out in full force as part of the annual statewide holiday DWI 'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over' substance--impaired driving campaign. The campaign, which will target substance-impaired drivers, will include high-visibility enforcement throughout Cassville, will run from from now until Jan. 1, 2017.
The nationwide campaign will be supported by national paid advertising, creating a comprehensive campaign to curb substance--impaired driving. Cassville Police Department officers will be aggressively looking for substance--impaired drivers during the crackdown, and will arrest anyone caught driving impaired.
Although it is illegal in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to drive impaired (having a blood alcohol concentration of .08 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 substance-impaired drivers or motorcycle operators," said Chief Dana Kammerlohr. "Data indicates in 2015, 197 people were killed on Missouri's roadways in crashes that involved at least one substance-impaired driver."
That works out to approximately one substance-impaired driver involved fatality about every two days.
Kammerlohr added that Christmas and New Year's Eve weekend is particularly dangerous. During the holiday DWI "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign Dec. 18, 2015 -- Jan. 3, 2016, 11 people were killed, and 25 seriously injured involving at least one 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," said Kammerlohr. "By joining this nationwide effort, we will make Cassville's roadways safer for everyone throughout the holiday.
"We want to remind everyone that getting behind the wheel impaired is a terrible idea. Unfortunately, not only does being under the influence 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. No excuses."
Sgt. Donald Privett noted that being arrested for driving under the influence of any substance brings a wide range of negative consequences. Substance--impaired 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 their job. When family, friends and co-workers find out, violators also often face tremendous personal embarrassment.
"Driving while impaired is simply not worth the risk," said Privett. "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.'"