Thursday, December 2, 2010
Missouri State Highway Patrol officers in Callaway County will be working additional hours next week in a special enforcement effort to find motorists who are driving while intoxicated.
Capt. Gregory D. Kindle, commanding officer of Troop F of the patrol, said the 13-county Mid-Missouri area, which includes Callaway County, has received a grant from the Missouri Department of Transportation’s Highway Safety Division for participation in the “You Drink & Drive, You Lose” campaign.
Kindle said enforcement efforts in Troop F will be increased from Sunday, Dec. 6 through Sunday, Dec. 12 to discourage people from driving while impaired this holiday season.
“The goal of the operation is to reduce fatalities and serious injuries caused by impaired drivers,” Kindle said. “No one wants to remember the holiday season as a time when they have lost a loved on due to this preventable tragedy.
“Troopers will be concentrating their efforts on removing impaired drivers from Missouri’s roadways.”
He said the consequences of being caught driving while intoxicated are becoming tougher under Missouri law.
For the first DWI conviction, or the first conviction after five years, the driver’s license will be suspended for 30 days followed by a 60-day suspension if a hardship license is not obtained.
A second DWI conviction results in a $1,000 fine, a yearlong revocation of a driver’s license, and up to one year in jail. A driver with a second conviction also is required to install an ignition interlock system on his or her vehicle when allowed to drive again. The device will prevent the vehicle from starting when there is alcohol on the breath of the driver.
A third and subsequent DWI convictions can be penalized with up to a $5,000 fine, a 10-year license denial and/or up to seven years in jail.
Kindle said if a person causes a fatal crash while intoxicated, he or she could be charged with involuntary manslaughter, a felony resulting in up to seven years in jail, a $5,000 fine or both.
Kindle said last year impaired drivers in Missouri were involved in accidents in which 280 people were killed, 1,140 people were injured seriously, and 3,719 people sustained minor injuries.