Law enforcement across the state of Missouri will be out in force over the next week or so, looking specifically for people under 21 who choose to drink and drive. Click to hear KMZU’s Chris Perkins talk with MODOT Outreach Specialist Melissa Black about the laws and some of the statistics involving drunk drivers.
Missouri Law Enforcement Cracking Down on Underage Drunk Drivers
Zero Tolerance. Zero Chances.
JEFFERSON CITY – With prom and graduation season here, Missouri law enforcement officials want to make sure Missouri youth are celebrating safe and sober. Law enforcement officials will crack down on underage drunk driving May 4-13.
It is illegal for someone under 21 to possess or consume alcohol in Missouri, yet youth make up a significant proportion of drunk drivers causing traffic crashes on Missouri roadways.
Many drunk drivers are under the age of 21. From 2008-2010, there were 90 fatal crashes and 276 disabling injury crashes involving an impaired driver under 21. There were 98 people killed and 426 seriously injured in these crashes.
Missouri has a Zero Tolerance Law. If you are under 21, your license will be suspended if you’re caught driving with even a trace of alcohol in your system.
“Drinking and driving is not worth the risk,” said Leanna Depue, chair of the executive committee of the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety. “Zero tolerance means zero chances: You Drink and Drive, You Lose.”
Consequences of drunk driving include jail time, loss of their driver licenses, or being sentenced to use ignition interlocks. Insurance rates go up. Other financial hits include attorney fees and court costs. When family and friends find out, violators can also face tremendous personal embarrassment and humiliation.
In 2010 in Missouri, 234 people were killed and 957 seriously injured in crashes involving an impaired driver. For more information, please visit www.saveMOlives.com.