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Local law enforcement cracking down this holiday season - KOAM TV 7

Local law enforcement cracking down this holiday season

Updated:
JASPER COUNTY, MISSOURI -

Carl junction police say the upcoming holiday weekend is particularly dangerous for drivers. Last Christmas and New Year’s Eve, 25 people were killed and 81 were seriously injured in Missouri traffic crashes. And often times, alcohol or drugs are a factor. This year, local law enforcement will be cracking down to change the statistics.

The most wonderful time of the year isn't always the safest time on the roads. Some who celebrate with alcohol drink too much and local law enforcement will be out in full force watching for them from now until January 3.

“Traditionally, we have a higher number of DWI arrests during this time of year so that's why we want our focus to be there,” says Officer Doug Dickey with the Carl Junction Police Department.

The Carl Junction Police join the nationwide "drive sober or get pulled over" campaign; an effort to reduce substance impaired driving fatalities.

“If you even have to ask yourself the question, I wonder if I’ve had too much to drink, you probably have,” says Dickey.

Last year, 25 percent of traffic deaths in Missouri involved 1 or more impaired driver or motorcyclist. Officials say that high visibility enforcement like this campaign can reduce DWI fatalities by as much as 20 percent.

The Joplin Police Department’s DWI unit will also patrol, with other officers prepared for disturbances common during the holidays.

“We're always being extra vigilant looking for drunk drivers, respond to any domestics, and any crimes in progress as we normally would and we'll just stay as vigilant as we possibly can,” says Corporal Daniel Rogers with the Joplin PD.

Police say alcohol isn't just a problem on the roads but can also be in households.

“You have a combination of let’s get the family together and then we forget when uncle so and so gets to drinking, he gets obnoxious and then that's when we start having the disturbances, people that really shouldn't be together but are because its family,” says Dickey.

While officers say they're not looking to make arrests, it’s their job to keep everyone safe.

“Simply don't drink and drive because if you do we will be there to watch for you and if we catch you, you're going to go to jail,” adds Dickey.

This holiday season there will be no warnings or excuses for impaired drivers. Both departments ask that if you see an erratic driving, have a passenger call 911.

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