Fourth of July DWI crackdown ready to roll

The Fourth of July holiday celebration is going to get off with a bang not far from us in Joplin. Just a short drive on Interstate 44 will take you to Lawrence County, where law enforcement officials are determined to do their level best to prevent car accidents caused by drunken drivers over the big three-day weekend.

In fact, they’re going to begin the annual “Drive Sober of Get Pulled Over” crackdown a couple of days early, beginning tomorrow and lasting through July 6. You can expect police agencies in Joplin and surrounding communities to increase high-visibility DWI patrols over the same time period as well.

Lawrence County’s sheriff said his deputies will be aggressive in searching for drunken drivers and arresting everyone and anyone suspected of DWI.

In Missouri, it’s illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or higher. According to bloodalcoholcalculator.org, a woman weighing 130 pounds could be too impaired to drive after three drinks in two hours. The reality is that no one should drive after consuming alcohol, regardless of gender, weight or their perceived fitness to get behind the wheel.

Far too many tragedies have occurred after someone insisted they were fine to drive because they had just had “a couple of beers.” Research shows that reflexes slow, vision diminishes and judgment is altered after consumption of alcohol.

“Unfortunately, not only does drinking impair your ability to operate a vehicle safely, it also impairs your judgment and good sense about whether you can or should drive,” the sheriff said.

If you drink at all this weekend, please stay safe by making use of a designated driver.

Source: Aurora Advertiser, "Sheriff plans DWI efforts during holiday weekend," June 30, 2014

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