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Missouri Department of Transportation

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MoDOT News Release 

For more information, contact Laura Holloway at 573-751-5985 or Laura.Holloway@modot.mo.gov, or Sandra Hentges at 573-526-4141 or Sandra.Hentges@modot.mo.gov

November 21, 2008 12:00 AM
You Better Not Drink, You Better Not Drive You Better Watch Out, We’re Telling You Why

JEFFERSON CITY - If you want to arrive alive this holiday season, don't drink and drive. A drunk driving arrest could cost you thousands of dollars in fines, court costs and lawyers fees that can really cut into your holiday budget. If you're convicted of a DWI you could also lose your license, lose your job and even spend time behind bars. You drink and drive, you lose.

This holiday season law enforcement officers across Missouri will be cracking down on drunk drivers to save lives on our roads. In 2007, 74 people died from the Thanksgiving holiday through Christmas; 14 were killed in a crash that involved an impaired driver.

"Holiday traffic is always heavier than normal, and there are many festivities. Drivers should be extra cautious and never drive after they've been drinking," said Leanna Depue, Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety executive committee chair. "Make a plan before you go and stick with it."

To further cut down on impaired driving fatalities, law enforcement units are adding emphasis to nabbing DWI offenders. One example is the Joplin Police Department, which recently added a full-time DWI unit with two officers devoted to catching impaired drivers and two new vehicles clearly marked with their mission. This is just one of the many examples of work the coalition supports to increase DWI enforcement this holiday season and decrease impaired driving fatalities and injuries.

The coalition will be running a radio and Internet ad campaign across the state Nov. 24 - Dec. 21 to urge drivers not to drink and drive this holiday season. Each message portrays the consequences of an impaired driving conviction.

If you suspect a drunk driver or have a roadside emergency, call 1-800-525-5555 or *55 on a cell phone for assistance from the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

We are all part of the solution. Please consider the following tips:

· Don't risk it - if you plan to drive, don't drink.

· Encourage safe driving behaviors among family, friends and co-workers.

· Choose a designated driver before partying. A designated driver is someone who drinks NO alcohol at all.

· Take mass transit, a taxicab or ask a friend to drive you home if you have no designated driver and no other means of transportation.

· Party hosts should include alcohol-free beverages for designated drivers.

· Spend the night where the activity is being held if no other safe options exist. DO NOT DRIVE INTOXICATED.

· Report impaired drivers to law enforcement.

· Always wear your safety belt - it's your best defense against an impaired driver.

Visit www.savemolives for more information.

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