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.