Columbia Fifth in State for Alcohol Related Crashes

2 years 2 months 2 weeks ago April 08, 2014 Apr 8, 2014 Tuesday, April 08 2014 Tuesday, April 08, 2014 3:45:00 PM CDT in News
By: Rachel Karcz, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA - Almost 30 people die from it every day in our country according to the Centers for Disease Control. Drunk driving accounts for one death every 48 minutes in the United States, and last year 213 people died on Missouri roads in alcohol-related crashes.

The Missouri Department of Transportation funds around $1 million each year for sobriety checkpoints. Since 2009, MoDOT has funded 2,410 checkpoints through grant money resulting in 29,196 DWI arrests.

"The sobriety checkpoints serve as a great deterrent for impaired driving and we know that people make the poor choice of drinking alcohol and then trying to drive a vehicle," Highway Safety Program Administrator Bill Whitfield said.

Since 2005, more than 2,000 Missourians have died in drinking related crashes. Data shows Columbia ranked in the top five Missouri cities for these crashes from 2010 to 2012. Boone County also made the top five, ranked with Jackson, St. Louis, Franklin, St. Charles and Jefferson counties.

Chad Burton was 17 when he was hit by a drunk driver on the way home from wrestling practice.

"I was taking my wrestling teammates home from Rock Bridge High School and we were hit by a drunk driver on Rock Quarry Road, head on," Burton said.

Chad wasn't wearing his seatbelt at the time of the accident and was rushed to the hospital in critical condition. That was 1992.

"Since I damaged the right side of my brain, it partially paralyzed the left side of my body," Burton said.

He had to relearn everything, from walking to typing, the essentials.

"I can type on a keyboard, do over 30 words a minute without looking. I can drive, I can tie my shoe, double knot it without looking with one hand. So all that, nothing really slows me down," Burton said.

This took time. After lying in a coma for five weeks on life support, Burton spent hours in physical therapy. He now dedicates his time to spreading the word about the importance of safety on the road. Burton is a speaker for Think First! Missouri, an organization that teaches teens about the dangers of reckless driving.

"I would say it's not as scary anymore, but it gives me goosebumps when I teach in front of other people because finding that commonality between the audience I'm speaking to and myself," Burton said. "Because this is a story you want to hear, you don't want to experience."

Burton said he supports checkpoints and encourages drivers to think twice before getting behind the wheel impaired.

"The money people spend at bars and stuff on alcohol, that's just quadruple of what they'd spend on a cab if they called a cab to give them a ride home," he said. "The price you pay for not calling a cab is a lot more than trying to drive and putting your car in a ditch or kill somebody else."

While the number of alcohol related fatalities has gone down in recent years, MoDOT officials say they won't stop funding checkpoints until the number is zero.

 

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed legislation Monday that would have allowed Missourians to carry a concealed fire arm... More >>
1 hour ago June 27, 2016 Jun 27, 2016 Monday, June 27 2016 Monday, June 27, 2016 3:51:00 PM CDT in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — The head of a Missouri-based hotel chain that has 35 properties in 16 states says her company... More >>
1 hour ago June 27, 2016 Jun 27, 2016 Monday, June 27 2016 Monday, June 27, 2016 3:37:18 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Dry weather conditions are creating dangerous conditions for setting off fireworks around the Fourth of July holiday. ... More >>
1 hour ago June 27, 2016 Jun 27, 2016 Monday, June 27 2016 Monday, June 27, 2016 3:21:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Authorities say one of the two people who died when a car ran off an interstate... More >>
2 hours ago June 27, 2016 Jun 27, 2016 Monday, June 27 2016 Monday, June 27, 2016 2:46:45 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - You would think I might be making this one up, but I’m not. Today is National Sunglasses Day.... More >>
2 hours ago June 27, 2016 Jun 27, 2016 Monday, June 27 2016 Monday, June 27, 2016 2:34:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A U.S. Supreme Court ruling is calling into question whether some Missouri abortion regulations will stand.... More >>
3 hours ago June 27, 2016 Jun 27, 2016 Monday, June 27 2016 Monday, June 27, 2016 1:57:07 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A 25-year-old man is accused of fatally shooting four of his family members then burning their... More >>
4 hours ago June 27, 2016 Jun 27, 2016 Monday, June 27 2016 Monday, June 27, 2016 1:16:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - The Republican who ushered a sweeping gun rights bill through the House says he hopes lawmakers... More >>
4 hours ago June 27, 2016 Jun 27, 2016 Monday, June 27 2016 Monday, June 27, 2016 1:00:27 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis branch of Death Cafe, a group that gathers regularly to discuss death and... More >>
4 hours ago June 27, 2016 Jun 27, 2016 Monday, June 27 2016 Monday, June 27, 2016 12:50:10 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A 49-year-old man has been charged with stabbing his sister to death after an argument about... More >>
4 hours ago June 27, 2016 Jun 27, 2016 Monday, June 27 2016 Monday, June 27, 2016 12:38:34 PM CDT in News
ST. JOSEPH (AP) — Authorities have released the name of a St. Joseph homicide victim. The St. Joseph News-Press... More >>
4 hours ago June 27, 2016 Jun 27, 2016 Monday, June 27 2016 Monday, June 27, 2016 12:32:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Two men are charged with assault motivated by discrimination for allegedly throwing eggs and shouting racial... More >>
4 hours ago June 27, 2016 Jun 27, 2016 Monday, June 27 2016 Monday, June 27, 2016 12:20:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department announced Monday in a news release 24-year-old Quenten Maurice Hurt and 23-year-old Darryl Eugene... More >>
5 hours ago June 27, 2016 Jun 27, 2016 Monday, June 27 2016 Monday, June 27, 2016 11:22:00 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri State Highway Patrol released the results Monday of two sobriety checkpoints conducted over the weekend.... More >>
6 hours ago June 27, 2016 Jun 27, 2016 Monday, June 27 2016 Monday, June 27, 2016 10:36:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Coil Construction said Monday construction on a new BMW dealership in Columbia began in May. The 32,000... More >>
6 hours ago June 27, 2016 Jun 27, 2016 Monday, June 27 2016 Monday, June 27, 2016 10:31:00 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Former President George W. Bush is coming to Missouri to help raise money for the re-election... More >>
7 hours ago June 27, 2016 Jun 27, 2016 Monday, June 27 2016 Monday, June 27, 2016 10:14:00 AM CDT in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has struck down Texas' widely replicated regulation of abortion clinics in the court's biggest... More >>
7 hours ago June 27, 2016 Jun 27, 2016 Monday, June 27 2016 Monday, June 27, 2016 9:26:00 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has vetoed a bill that would have let people carry concealed guns... More >>
8 hours ago June 27, 2016 Jun 27, 2016 Monday, June 27 2016 Monday, June 27, 2016 9:16:00 AM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 92°
6pm 92°
7pm 90°
8pm 86°
9pm 82°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

5:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 5
5:30p
NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt
6:00p
KOMU 8 News @ 6
5:00p
American Dad!
5:30p
American Dad!
6:00p
Family Guy

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
2016 U.S. Summer Olympic Trials
8:00p
American Ninja Warrior
7:00p
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
7:30p
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
8:00p
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
8:30p
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld