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Major DWI enforcement in Cole Co.

Friday, the Cole County Sheriff’s Department, in cooperation with the MoDOT, participated in the statewide “Drink and Drive and Get Arrested” enforcement effort.

Sobriety checkpoints were conducted on Missouri 179 at Mission Drive in the northbound and southbound lanes.

The checkpoints kicked off a night of DWI enforcement that included DWI saturation patrols throughout the county.

Cole County Sheriff Greg White said 793 cars were checked.

There were seven arrests for DWI, 11 for no operator’s license, one outstanding felony no-bond drug warrant and one citation for littering.

Deputies also got into a pursuit at the checkpoints when a motorcyclist approached, gestured to a traffic control deputy and fled at a high rate of speed.

The pursuit ended with the suspect crashing on Cassidy Road.

That driver was taken into custody and is facing a variety of traffic violations.

The name of the driver was not released pending the filing of formal charges.

After the checkpoint, saturation patrols continued with one of the DWI arrests also charged with assault on a law enforcement officer.

In 2011, the Cole County Sheriff’s Department arrested over 200 drunk drivers.

Friday’s checkpoint was dedicated to MoDOT worker, Duane Pace, who had been killed by a driver while working on a construction site in 2002.

A MoDOT Highway Safety Division grant paid for the overtime costs for the deputies to man the checkpoints.

These were the first checkpoints with major participation from MoDOT employees and equipment.

Volunteer reserve deputies, sheriff’s posse members, and Cole County hazmat personnel were also involved in a variety of duties and assignments.

The Sheriff’s Department was awarded $22,248 in traffic grants for 2011-2012.

For 2012-2013, the sheriff’s department was awarded a total of $23,878 for DWI enforcement and sobriety checkpoint funding, a 7.3% increase.

White noted that thanks to these types of enforcement efforts, the total number of Missouri traffic deaths declined to 786 in 2011, a drop from 821 in 2010, and a drop from 878 in 2009.

However, so far in 2012, there have been 582 traffic deaths in Missouri, a 9% increase from the same time period last year.

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