LawCo Sheriff joins St. Patrick’s Day Crackdown

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Effort to focus on reducing drunk driving fatalities

Lawrence County deputies will be out in full force as part of the annual nationwide St. Patrick's Day Holiday "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" substance-impaired driving crackdown. The crackdown, which will include high-visibility enforcement throughout Lawrence County, will run from Thursday, March 16 through Sunday, March 19.

The effort will include high-visibility enforcement, high-profile events, and will be supported by national paid advertising, creating a comprehensive campaign to curb substance-impaired driving over the St. Patrick's Day holiday.

Lawrence County Sheriff Brad DeLay said deputies will be aggressively looking for substance-impaired drivers during the crackdown and will arrest anyone caught driving impaired.

"Every year, about one-third of all motor vehicle traffic deaths involve one or more substance-impaired drivers or motorcycle operators," DeLay said. "In 2016, 179 people were killed and 643 seriously injured on Missouri's roadways in crashes that involved at least one substance-impaired driver."

That works out to approximately one substance-impaired driver involved fatality every two days.

The latest statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration underscore the serious nature of the nation's continuing drunk driving epidemic.

During the St. Patrick's Day holiday last year, March 17-20, two people were killed and eight seriously injured involving at least one substance-impaired driver.

"Research has shown that high-visibility enforcement like the 'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over' campaign reduces substance-impaired driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent," DeLay said. "By joining this nationwide effort, we will make Lawrence County's roadways safer for everyone throughout the holiday.

"We want to remind everyone that getting behind the wheel impaired is a terrible idea. Unfortunately, not only does being under the influence impair your ability to operate a vehicle, safely, it also impairs your judgment and good sense about whether you can, or should drive. Anyone having any doubt about their sobriety should not get behind the wheel. Those who choose to drive impaired will be arrested. No warnings. No excuses."

DeLay noted that being arrested for driving under the influence of any substance brings a wide range of negative consequences into one's life. Substance-impaired drivers face jail time, loss of their driver licenses, and steep financial consequences such as higher insurance rates, attorney fees, court costs, lost time at work, and the potential loss of job. When family, friends and co-workers find out, violators also often face tremendous personal embarrassment.

"Driving while impaired is simply not worth the risk," he said. "So don't take the chance. Remember, we will be out in force and we will be watching, so 'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,'" said Sheriff DeLay.

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