Columbia Fifth in State for Alcohol Related Crashes

2 years 3 weeks 4 days 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
COLUMBIA - Changes to the Columbia city code would require storm shelters in future public schools, joint commissions and fire... More >>
2 hours ago May 03, 2016 May 3, 2016 Tuesday, May 03 2016 Tuesday, May 03, 2016 4:40:00 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A jury in St. Louis has ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $55 million to a... More >>
2 hours ago May 03, 2016 May 3, 2016 Tuesday, May 03 2016 Tuesday, May 03, 2016 4:38:29 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Missouri House has passed a bill to bar cities, counties and law enforcement agencies from... More >>
2 hours ago May 03, 2016 May 3, 2016 Tuesday, May 03 2016 Tuesday, May 03, 2016 4:34:00 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri students in private schools would be eligible for the state's A+ Scholarship under a bill... More >>
3 hours ago May 03, 2016 May 3, 2016 Tuesday, May 03 2016 Tuesday, May 03, 2016 4:31:01 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Republicans' decade long effort to require people to show photo identification when voting has cleared... More >>
3 hours ago May 03, 2016 May 3, 2016 Tuesday, May 03 2016 Tuesday, May 03, 2016 4:24:14 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Some Missouri lawmakers want to protect lodging websites such as Airbnb from local ordinances that could... More >>
3 hours ago May 03, 2016 May 3, 2016 Tuesday, May 03 2016 Tuesday, May 03, 2016 4:21:58 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia celebrated National Travel and Tourism Week Tuesday with an event at Reynolds Alumni Center on the MU... More >>
3 hours ago May 03, 2016 May 3, 2016 Tuesday, May 03 2016 Tuesday, May 03, 2016 4:11:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Following the May 1 national decision date for college choices, the Vice Provost for Enrollment Management at the... More >>
9 hours ago May 02, 2016 May 2, 2016 Monday, May 02 2016 Monday, May 02, 2016 10:31:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri lawmakers are trying to change immigration laws throughout the state. The Emerging Issues Committee within... More >>
11 hours ago May 02, 2016 May 2, 2016 Monday, May 02 2016 Monday, May 02, 2016 8:21:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA- Doctors say cases of Melanoma are on the rise this year, and they hope National Melanoma Monday, observed on... More >>
13 hours ago May 02, 2016 May 2, 2016 Monday, May 02 2016 Monday, May 02, 2016 6:22:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Rachel Brekhus, a member of Race Matters, Friends, spoke at the Columbia City Council meeting regarding the Columbia... More >>
13 hours ago May 02, 2016 May 2, 2016 Monday, May 02 2016 Monday, May 02, 2016 6:18:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The director of the city's Office of Cultural Affairs presented the first official city flag design to The... More >>
13 hours ago May 02, 2016 May 2, 2016 Monday, May 02 2016 Monday, May 02, 2016 6:16:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Public Works Department was recognized for “model practices” during its recent reaccreditation by the American Public... More >>
13 hours ago May 02, 2016 May 2, 2016 Monday, May 02 2016 Monday, May 02, 2016 5:35:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - In a 28-year study, researchers at MU found a child's social interactions affect their health. "What we've... More >>
14 hours ago May 02, 2016 May 2, 2016 Monday, May 02 2016 Monday, May 02, 2016 5:21:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The city is moving forward with the Columbia Regional Airport Terminal Master Plan. On Monday, the city council... More >>
15 hours ago May 02, 2016 May 2, 2016 Monday, May 02 2016 Monday, May 02, 2016 4:26:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Simon Crosier's parents said they were never told about key decision in their son's care before he died... More >>
15 hours ago May 02, 2016 May 2, 2016 Monday, May 02 2016 Monday, May 02, 2016 4:12:00 PM CDT in Target 8
COLUMBIA - Osage County Sheriff Michael Dixon pleaded not guilty at his first court appearance Monday for charges against him... More >>
15 hours ago May 02, 2016 May 2, 2016 Monday, May 02 2016 Monday, May 02, 2016 3:55:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - An unpopular breakfast item may be disappearing from school cafeterias in Columbia. The United States... More >>
16 hours ago May 02, 2016 May 2, 2016 Monday, May 02 2016 Monday, May 02, 2016 3:16:00 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 43°
8am 47°
9am 52°
10am 56°
11am 61°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:00a
Today
11:00a
Rachael Ray
12:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Noon
7:00a
Intelligence for Your Life
7:30a
Cops Reloaded
8:00a
The Steve Wilkos Show

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Voice
8:00p
Chicago Med
9:00p
Chicago Fire
7:00p
The Flash
8:00p
Containment
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld