Missouri holds memorial to victims of impaired drivers

Fifth- and sixth-grade students from St. Stanislaus School select ornaments from a tree honoring victims of impaired driving Thursday in the Capitol Rotunda. Their choir performed Christmas carols at the beginning of the Missouri Remembers 2010 ceremony.

Fifth- and sixth-grade students from St. Stanislaus School select ornaments from a tree honoring victims of impaired driving Thursday in the Capitol Rotunda. Their choir performed Christmas carols at the beginning of the Missouri Remembers 2010 ceremony. Photo by Kelley McCall.

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri officials are remembering people injured and killed by drunken drivers, and urging motorists to drive sober.

The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety says that nearly 1,400 Missourians have been killed in accidents involving impaired motorists over the last five years. Those numbers include 281 people killed and more than 3,700 injured last year.

During a Capitol ceremony Thursday, a Christmas tree was lit that included ornaments for each of the people killed. The names of those killed also were displayed.

The tree was lit by Phaedra Marriott-Olsen, who uses a wheelchair because she was struck by a drunken driver in 1996.

The Missouri Highway Patrol says this week it began increasing sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols to catch drunken drivers.

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