People across the state of Missouri will be leaving their places of employment in just a few hours, ready to enjoy the long Labor Day weekend. For some this will mean packing up the car and heading out to see family, while for others it will mean calling up friends to have an impromptu picnic at a local park. Whatever their plans, people need to be aware that law enforcement officials will be out on the roads and highways in full force looking to make as many DWI arrests as possible.
Since August 16, Missouri’s state and local law enforcement agencies have been taking part in the annual Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, a federally funded initiative designed to raise awareness about the dangers of drunk driving and maximize the number of arrests. The campaign, which runs through Labor Day holiday, is taken very seriously by law enforcement here in the Show-Me State, as evidenced by the 714 drunk driving arrests made in 2012’s effort.
As part of their efforts, law enforcement officials will be mounting both statewide sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols. For those unfamiliar with saturation patrols, it simply means that a larger number of officers will be present in a smaller geographic area, such as those districts home to a larger percentage of bars, clubs or restaurants.
As for the sobriety checkpoints, local law enforcement officials will announce when they will be planning to conduct these operations, but will not reveal a location. To illustrate, the Missouri Highway Patrol announced just yesterday that it would be holding a sobriety checkpoint “sometime in the month of September 2013” in Ste. Genevieve County. Here, the idea is that the prospect of a potential sobriety checkpoint will serve as a deterrent to would-be drunk drivers in that area.
Given the potentially steep consequences of a DWI conviction — license suspension, fines, jail time, to name only a few — those who have been arrested for driving while intoxicated should strongly consider speaking with an experienced attorney to learn more about their rights and their options for challenging the charges.
Source: Missouri Coalition of Roadway Safety, “The message is clear – Drive sober or get pulled over,” August 12, 2013;KRCG, “Agencies begin ‘Drive Sober of Get Pulled Over’ campaign,” Juliette Dryer, August 15, 2013