Press Release

Platte County Sheriff's Office
Mark S. Owen, Sheriff
415 3rd Street Suite 10
Platte City, MO 64079
816-858-2424 (business)
816-858-3053 (fax)

Subject: Northland DWI Task Force Holiday Enforcement Campaign
Date: 2017-06-21
Author: Sergeant Jeffrey Shanks
Public Information Officer
Reference Number: 17-014

News Release

Date: June 20, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Sergeant Jeffrey Shanks
Public Information Officer
(816) 858-2424

Reference Number: 17-014

Subject: Northland DWI Task Force Joins National Fourth of July Holiday Crackdown

"Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" Enforcement Campaign Will Target Substance-Impaired Drivers

The Northland DWI Task Force, which includes the Platte County Sheriff's Office, will be out in full force starting June 30th as part of the annual nationwide Fourth (4th) of July Holiday "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" substance-impaired driving crackdown. The crackdown, which will include high-visibility and high-saturation enforcement throughout Platte and Clay counties, will run from June 30-July 4, 2017.

The effective nationwide substance-impaired driving crackdown will include high-saturation and high-visibility enforcement and will be supported by national paid advertising, creating a comprehensive campaign to curb substance-impaired driving over the Fourth (4th) of July Holiday.

The agencies of the Northland DWI Task Force have joined together and their officers and deputies will be aggressively looking for substance-impaired drivers during the crackdown and will arrest anyone caught driving impaired.

Although it is illegal in all 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico to drive impaired (having a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher), far too many people across the nation get behind the wheel after consuming too much alcohol. Not only are alcohol impaired drivers a threat to others, new statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicate drugged driving has now surpassed drunk driving in fatal crashes. NHTSA's research shows in 2015, drugs were present in 43% of the fatally-injured drivers more frequently than alcohol was present.

"Every year, about one-third of all motor vehicle traffic deaths involve one or more substance-impaired drivers or motorcycle operators," said Platte County Mark Owen. "In 2016, 233 people were killed and 700 seriously injured on Missouri's roadways in crashes that involved at least one substance-impaired driver." That works out to approximately one substance-impaired driver involved fatality every 1-3/4 days. Sheriff Owen added that the Fourth (4th) of July Holiday is particularly dangerous. During the Fourth (4th) of July Holiday July 1-4, 2016, two (2) people were killed and ten (10) were seriously injured involving at least one substance-impaired driver.

"Research has shown that high-visibility enforcement like the 'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over' campaign reduces substance-impaired driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent. By joining this nationwide effort, we will make the Northland roadways safer for everyone throughout the holiday," said Chief Thomas Carey, Kearney Police Department.

"We want to remind everyone that getting behind the wheel impaired is a terrible idea. Unfortunately, not only does being under the influence impair your ability to operate a vehicle safely, it also impairs your judgment and good sense about whether you can, or should drive. If you have any doubt about your sobriety, do not get behind the wheel. If you do chose to drive impaired, you will be arrested. No warnings. No excuses." Excelsior Springs Police Chief Clinton D. Reno said.

Smithville Police Chief Jason Lockridge noted that being arrested for driving under the influence of any substance brings a wide range of negative consequences into one's life. Substance-impaired drivers face jail time, loss of their drivers license, and steep financial consequences such as higher insurance rates, attorney fees, court costs, lost time at work, and the potential loss of their job. When family, friends, and co-workers find out, violators also often face tremendous personal embarrassment.

"Driving while impaired is simply not worth the risk. So don't take the chance. Remember, we will be out in force and we will be watching, so 'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.'" said Chief Chris Skinrood, Riverside Police Department.

For more information, visit the "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign headquarters by clicking here or go to www.saveMOlives.com