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Our Opinion: Luck has nothing to do with impaired driving

Our Opinion: Luck has nothing to do with impaired driving

March 14th, 2014 in News

"Don't press your luck this St. Patrick's Day," the Missouri Highway Patrol advises.

The admonition is both clever and realistic.

The patrol, Cole County Sheriff's Department and Jefferson City police will be among more than 200 agencies participating in a special enforcement effort from Friday through the Monday holiday.

The saturation patrols multiply the potential consequences of impaired driving, adding arrests, incarceration and fines to costly accidents and tragic injuries and deaths.

Col. Ron Replogle, patrol superintendent, reported: "Statewide, law enforcement made 412 DWI arrests during a similar campaign in March of 2013. Officers are committed to removing impaired drivers from our roads."

Jefferson City Police Chief Roger Schroeder added 218 people were killed and 666 seriously injured statewide in accidents involving alcohol and drugs in 2013.

"It's never worth the risk to drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol," Schroeder said. "The only safe driver is one that is completely sober."

The chief urged motorists to heed these suggestions:

• If you plan to drink, don't drive.

• Choose a designated driver before going out. A designated driver is someone who drinks no alcohol at all.

• Have a drinking establishment call Sober Driver for you in Jefferson City at 636-7102 for a free ride home if you are impaired or if you are with a driver that is impaired. Party hosts can obtain Sober Driver tickets by contacting Fechtel Beverage at 573-636-5161 or Sgt. Doug Ruediger at 573-634-6397.

In addition, all motorists are encouraged to report impaired drivers to law enforcement and always to wear seat belts. Schroeder characterizes buckling up as the best defense against an impaired driver.

Impaired driving isn't about luck at all. It is about common sense and eliminating the costly, tragic consequences that accompany an unnecessary activity.