Columbia Police Department Cracking Down on Impaired Drivers March 16-20
As part of the Columbia Police Department’s continued efforts to rid our roadways of intoxicated drivers, enforcement efforts will be increased March 16-20, 2011. The Columbia Police Department received a grant form the Missouri Department of Transportation’s Highway Safety Division for participation in the You Drink & Drive, You Lose campaign to stop people from driving while intoxicated. A portion of the increased focus on impaired driving during these dates will include at least one sobriety checkpoint within the City of Columbia, as well increased saturation patrols. Motorists encountering a sobriety checkpoint should expect minimal delays.
Impaired driving contributes to more than 30 percent of Missouri traffic fatalities. In 2009, 280 people were killed and 1,140 people were seriously injured in crashes involving impaired drivers. Missouri has a Zero Tolerance law. If you are under 21, your license will be suspended if you’re caught driving with even a trace of alcohol in your body. If you cause a fatal crash while intoxicated, you could be charged with Involuntary Manslaughter, a felony punishable by up to 7 years in prison, a $5,000 fine, or both. Your license can be suspended for 90 days on your first arrest for driving while intoxicated. Your second offense results in a year-long revocation of your license, a fine of up to $1,000, and up to one year in jail. Any person guilty of a second or subsequent alcohol-related traffic offense will be required to have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle before their driving privileges are reinstated.
“No matter the occasion, no matter the reason, there’s never an excuse for driving while intoxicated,” states Columbia Police Department DWI Enforcement Unit Officer Chris Hessenflow. “Impaired driving is a preventable crime, and the Columbia Police Department intends to continue to have a no-tolerance approach to those who choose to drink and drive on Columbia’s roadways.”