RESIDENTS URGED TO CELEBRATE RESPONSIBLY THIS HOLIDAY WEEKEND

After months of quarantine, Independence Day will find many hitting the road for some holiday weekend fun.

MoDOT says while noted as one of the busiest summer holidays, it’s also one of the deadliest due to increased travel and substance-impaired drivers.
Alcohol, illegal and prescription drugs, and even some over-the-counter medicines can cause impairment. Local law enforcement will be out July 2-6 with increased efforts to prevent impaired drivers– no warnings, no excuses. If you drive impaired, you will be arrested. You are urged to not risk losing your independence by choosing to drive under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

Often, people have a hard time recuperating financially from the cost of a crash or arrest itself. Violators risk killing or harming others, facing jail time, the loss of their driver’s license, higher insurance rates and dozens of other unanticipated expenses from attorney fees, fines and court costs, car towing and repairs and lost time at work.

There were 15 people killed and 58 seriously injured in traffic crashes in Missouri over the 2019 Independence Day holiday. Of the 73 people killed or injured, 18 were involved in a crash where there was at least one substance-impaired driver. The 15 fatalities included three motorcyclists, one ATV occupant and 11 vehicle occupants, with 80 percent of the 11 vehicle occupants being unbuckled.

The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety recommends some simple tips to avoid an impaired-driving disaster:
· Plan a safe way home before the fun begins.
· Before drinking, designate a sober driver.
· If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation so you are sure to get home safely.
· If you happen to see an impaired driver on the road, call local law enforcement.
· Always wear your seat belt. It’s your best defense in any traffic crash.
· Buckle up and put your phone down.

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