While many are planning summer vacations, the Cole County Sheriff's Department will be initiating its own plans for increased driving while intoxicated enforcement.
This is being done in conjunction with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration's "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign.
The sheriff's department was awarded $28,878 in traffic grants for 2012-13. Of that amount, $23,878 is funding sobriety checkpoints and DWI-focused enforcement, while $5,000 is being used for deputy overtime to be on patrol for hazardous moving violations. Grant funds cover personnel, fuel and supplies.
The current sheriff's department sobriety checkpoint program was started in July 2006 with 19 checkpoints completed. The checkpoints are funded by the Missouri Division of Highway Safety and use paid deputies, volunteer reserve deputies, volunteer sheriff's posse members and select Cole County Haz Mat personnel.
Cole County Sheriff Greg White believes these checkpoints are successful in keeping roads safer. He noted that through June 26, there have been 313 deaths on Missouri roads compared with 392 at the same time last year, a 20 percent decline.