Hazelwood Police Keep Pressure On With Another DWI Sobriety Checkpoint

The Hazelwood Police Department has scheduled another DWI Sobriety Checkpoint for the weekend of August 23 and 24.  It will be held in an undisclosed location somewhere within the city limits.

Sobriety checkpoints are a part of the HPD’s efforts to enforce Missouri’s DWI laws and to keep impaired drivers off the roads.  Drunk driving is responsible for nearly 30 percent of all Missouri traffic fatalities.  In 2012, 230 people were killed and 868 seriously injured in crashes involving an impaired driver.

“The low number of motorists we’ve arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) during our most recent sobriety checkpoints indicates that our department has made progress educating the public about the importance of not getting behind the wheel drunk,” Hazelwood Chief of Police Gregg Hall said.  “But we must continue stepping up our enforcement of Missouri’s DWI laws in order to protect the citizens we serve from being involved in a possible traffic accident that may cause a serious injury or death.”

The consequences of being arrested for drunk driving can be substantial, according to the HPD.  A person who causes a fatal crash while intoxicated can be charged with involuntary manslaughter, a felony resulting in up to seven years of jail time, a $5,000 fine or both.  On a first conviction, a defendant may have his/her license suspended for 90 days, be fined up to $500 and spend up to six months in jail.  A second conviction results in a 1-year revocation of your license, a fine up to $1,000 and up to a year in jail time.  Any person guilty of a second or subsequent intoxication-related traffic offense may be required to have an ignition interlock installed in his/her car before having driving privileges reinstated.

Other financial repercussions often include attorney fees, court costs, lost time at work, and the potential of losing one’s job or job prospects.

“Driving drunk is simply not worth all the consequences,” said Hall.  “Our message is simple and unwavering, ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.’  If you’re impaired when we pull you over at a sobriety checkpoint or for a traffic stop, you will be arrested.”

The Missouri State Highway Patrol urges all citizens to report any vehicle operating in a careless manner. Call the toll-free 1-800-525-5555 or on a cellular phone at *55.  For more information, go to www.savemolives.com.

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