Missouri Highway Patrol warns of impaired drivers over holiday weekend
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Many people will take to the roads this weekend as they travel to and from New Year’s celebrations. Local law enforcement warns of the dangers of impaired drivers.
During New Year’s 2021/2022, one person was killed and 331 people were injured in more than a thousand accidents in Missouri. In the southwestern part of the state, 15 people were charged with DWI’s. Sgt. McClure with the Missouri Highway Patrol says their mission is to keep the roads safe. He recommends taking steps to avoid other drivers who may be driving impaired.
“It goes back to being a defensive driver, and obviously buckling up, making sure your passengers are buckled up, obey the traffic laws, including the speed limit, and, when in doubt, yield the right away. Be that defensive driver because you don’t know what condition the other drivers around you are in.”
McClure says if you see someone you think might be impaired out on the roads, you can dial *55 which is a direct, non-emergency line to your local Highway Patrol.
McClure adds, it’s important to get a description of the vehicle, where it went, and any information that a trooper can use to find them.
New Year’s weekend, the Missouri Highway Patrol is concentrating their troopers on catching drivers to issue citations for speeding, distracted driving, aggressive driving and seatbelt violations; with impaired driving being one of the most severe offenses. While lives are lost and changed because of one person’s decision to drink and drive, McClure says that from the moment you’re reasonably believed to be impaired driving, your driving journey is over.
“You’ll be going to the local law enforcement facility whether it’s a jail, Sheriff’s Department, police station. Your vehicle will likely be impounded, towed and impounded and the cost starts to rack up then.”
In Missouri, a first-time DWI or BAC conviction results in a 90-day suspension. It’s more severe if you’re driving a commercial vehicle. On your 2nd conviction you’ll receive a 1-year revocation and you may get denied for a license for 5 years. On your 3rd conviction of an intoxication-related traffic offense, you will receive a 10-year license denial.
That’s in addition to legal fees and the impact it will have on job background checks.
The law in Missouri is such that if a law enforcement officer requests you to take an alcohol or drug test, you are required to submit, or your driving privilege is revoked for one year.
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