Cassville police to crack down on St. Patrick’s Day
Nationwide effort aims to lower number of drunk driving fatalities
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” substance-impaired driving crackdown from Thursday to Sunday.
The nationwide substance-impaired driving crackdown will include high-visibility traffic enforcement and will be supported by national paid advertising, creating a comprehensive campaign to curb substance-impaired driving over the St. Patrick’s Day holiday.
The Cassville Police Department said its 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, according to Cassville Sgt. Donald Privett. 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,” Privett said. “In 2016, 179 people were killed and 643 seriously injured 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 every two days."
Privett added the St. Patrick’s Day holiday is particularly dangerous. During the St. Patrick’s Day holiday, from March 17-20, 2016, two people were killed and eight seriously injured in wrecks 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," Cassville Police Chief Dana Kammerlohr said. "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 chose to drive impaired, you will be arrested. No warnings. No excuses."
Chief Kammerlohr noted that being arrested for driving under the influence of any substance brings a wide range of negative consequences into one’s life. 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 job. When family, friends and co-workers find out, violators also often face tremendous personal embarrassment, she said.
“Driving while impaired 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 ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.'"