March 7, 2013

Sheriff's Office to Take Part in St. Patrick's Day DWI Enforcement Campaign

St. Patrick's Day is as well known for the tradition of green attire as it is for the practice of consuming alcoholic libations. Aware of the latter custom, local law enforcement officers will be joining forces with state departments to perform a DWI Enforcement Campaign March 14th-17th.

According to the Missouri Department of Transportation, last year 231 people were killed and 841 were seriously injured on Missouri roadways as a result of traffic crashes involving alcohol and drugs.

The Scotland County Sheriff's Office will be dedicating extra forces to the effort that coincides with the St. Patrick's Day holiday. Chief Deputy Bryan Whitney indicated the local efforts are being made possible by federal grant funds, which pay for overtime for officers that participate in the DWI enforcement campaign.

During a previous year's St. Patrick's Day impaired driving mobilization, more than 200 law enforcement agencies participated and made 379 drunk-driving arrests; issued 1,191 speeding tickets; and wrote 319 seat belt tickets. Sixty-six felony arrests were made.

"Law enforcement agencies throughout Missouri will join together to get drunk drivers off the street - and make Missouri roads safer," said Leanna Depue, chair of the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety's executive committee. "If you plan on drinking, don't rely on luck to get you home safe. Plan a safe ride home before the festivities begin."

The sobering fact is that impaired driving contributes to nearly 30 percent of all Missouri traffic fatalities.

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