The Barry County Sheriff's Department will be cracking down on drunk drivers during the Fourth of July holiday thanks to a grant from the Missouri Department of Transportation's Highway Safety Division.
The grant funding will be used in support of a "You Drink and Drive. You Lose" enforcement campaign that will take place July 2 through July 5. During those four days, DWI enforcement efforts will be increased.
"Don't risk it," warned Barry County Sheriff Mick Epperly. "If you plan to drink, don't drive. Whether it is your license, your money or your life. If you drink and drive, you lose."
The consequences of driving while impaired are serious and include:
* For the first conviction, a person's license is suspended for 30 days followed by a 60-day suspension if a hardship license is not obtained.
* A second conviction results in a $1,000 fine, year-long revocation of license and up to a year in jail. Individuals will also be required to install an ignition interlock system on their vehicle, preventing them from starting their car if they have alcohol on their breath.
* Third and subsequent convictions can be penalized with up to a $5,000 fine, a 10-year license denial and up to seven years in jail.
* If someone is involved in a fatal crash while intoxicated, they can be charged with involuntary manslaughter, which is a felony resulting in up to seven years in jail and a $5,000 fine.
* Insurance coverage is difficult to find and rates are higher for those convicted of a DWI.
The goal of the upcoming campaign, according to the sheriff, is to reduce deaths and serious injuries caused by impaired drivers.
For more information about the effort, visit www.saveMOlives.com.