Tuesday, August 17, 2010

New DWI Laws to Sober Drunk Drivers

If you’ve ever had an alcoholic drink or two, you know that it can be a little while before you feel back to normal. Unfortunately, many people still think they can handle themselves after a drink or more and drive. However, sometimes one drink is all it takes to make the difference between life and death behind the wheel.

Beginning next week, new Missouri DWI legislation will crack down on drunk drivers and make Missouri roads safer.

Missouri’s You Drink & Drive, You Lose campaign takes place Aug. 20 through Sept. 6. Law enforcement will participate in statewide sobriety checkpoints and DWI saturation patrols enforcing Missouri’s DWI laws and keeping impaired drivers off the road. At the same time, advertising messages will remind drivers of the consequences of impaired driving.

The new DWI law which goes into effect Aug. 28 will:
• Increase jail time for repeat DWI offenders and those with higher blood alcohol levels
• Move more cases from municipal courts to state courts, where penalties can be tougher
• Mandate better record-keeping for DWI cases so that repeat offenders can be properly tracked; and
• Offer offenders opportunities to participate in a DWI court program that incorporates treatment and close monitoring instead of going to jail.

In 2009, 280 people were killed, 1,140 seriously injured and 3,719 received minor injuries in Missouri crashes involving an impaired driver.

Please remember to hand your keys over if you’ve been drinking, or offer to give someone else a ride if you’re sober. Let’s all get home safely. To learn more about impaired driving and how you can Arrive Alive, visit www.savemolives.com.


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mandela said...

In the summer of 2005, Congress approved a huge transportation bill. One of its many provisions included federal grants that encouraged states to enact John’s Law, a New Jersey law that allows police to impound the car of a drunk driver.

The law was named after Navy Ensign John Elliott, who died in a drunk driving accident in 2000. That evening began when a driver named Michael Pangle was arrested for drunk driving, then released three hours later, still intoxicated. A friend who picked up Pangle at the police station took him to his car, where Pangle picked up his car and drove more that night. It was later that night that Pangle got into the accident with Elliott, killing them both.

After the accident, Bill Elliott, John’s father, began a crusade to pass legislation that would toughen drunk-driving laws that might have saved his son’s life. Eventually, Senator Jon S. Corzine and Representative Frank A. LoBiondo, both representing Elliott's state of New Jersey, introduced two bills in Congress and got them passed. The first law allowed the police to impound the vehicles of drunk drivers. The second law allowed police to hold drunk drivers until they became sober. The two laws collectively became known as John’s Law.

The federal provision in the 2005 transportation bill allows the other 49 states to enact John’s Law to assist them in meeting various criteria that are necessary to land federal grants to prevent drunk-driving, as well as other law enforcement–related grant money.
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