In 2011, 234 people were killed and 945 were seriously injured in crashes involving an impaired driver, according to Florissant Police, who say they hope to help reduce these shocking statistics this holiday season by cracking down on impaired drivers around town.
As social calendars fill up with various holiday parties and events this month, the Florissant Police Department is asking residents to take care to avoid being impaired when they get behind the wheel.
The department is participating in the 2012 Holiday DWI Enforcement Campaign, which is funded by the Missouri Department of Transportation Highway Safety.
“Enforcement efforts will be increased Dec. 10-16 and will focus on reducing deaths and serious injuries caused by impaired drivers,” Florissant Police Chief William Karaba said in a press release. “Losing a loved one during the holiday season is a tragedy no one should have to endure.”
Impaired diving is a preventable crime, and the Florissant police department says it intends “to crack down so drivers feel secure on Missouri roadways.”
Do the Right Thing, Or Else
If you’re caught driving while intoxicated, the consequences can be steep. Take a look at what Florissant Police say driving under the influence can cost you.
- For the first conviction (or first conviction in over five years), your license will be suspended for 30 days followed by a 60-day suspension if a hardship license is not obtained.
- A second conviction results in a $1,000 fine, a yearlong revocation of your license and up to a year in jail. You will also be required to install an ignition interlock system on your vehicle, preventing your car from starting when you have alcohol on your breath.
- Third and subsequent convictions can be penalized with up to a $5,000 fine, a 10-year license denial, and/or up to seven years in jail.
- If you cause a fatal crash while intoxicated, you could be charged with Involuntary Manslaughter.
It’s Not Worth It
Aside from the legal consequences, please remember the ethical ones. Not only could you wreck your car or hurt or kill yourself—you might hurt or kill someone else. It could even be someone you love or someone you know.
If you’re planning to drink at a holiday party or event this season, plan ahead. Choose a designated driver or have the number of a local cab service in your phone before you go out. If the party is at a friend or relative’s house, consider asking if you can bunk on the couch for the night. It might just save your life.