The Columbia Police Department is partnering with local and state law enforcement agencies to increase enforcement of impaired driving laws during the upcoming weekend of March 16 and 17. Motorists in Boone County can expect to see an increased presence of law enforcement focusing on impaired driving.
In 2018, more than 900 people died in traffic crashes in Missouri. One of the top contributors causing fatal crashes in Missouri is impaired driving. Missouri law categorizes impairment as driving while intoxicated if a person operates a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, illicit drugs, and/or prescription medications, regardless of his/her blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Penalties can range from loss of driving privileges, fines, and jail time on first offenses to involuntary manslaughter charges for crashes resulting in death.
The Columbia Police Department DWI Unit encourages the use of alternatives to impaired driving through designated drivers, ride-sharing programs and available public transportation.
"The effects of impaired driving can be far-reaching and, in some cases, tragic and devastating. We always encourage safe alcohol consumption and driving decisions year-round, especially during times of celebration, including St. Patrick’s Day," Sgt. Clint Sinclair of the Columbia Police Department DWI Unit said.
These events are funded through a grant from the Missouri Department of Transportation Division of Highway Safety.