Columbia Fifth in State for Alcohol Related Crashes

2 years 3 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
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A suburban Kansas City man has been sentenced to seven years in prison after a house... More >>
32 minutes ago July 28, 2016 Jul 28, 2016 Thursday, July 28 2016 Thursday, July 28, 2016 6:50:49 AM CDT in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - Thursday marks the eighth Project Homeless Connect event hosted by the City of Columbia's Community Development Department. ... More >>
4 hours ago July 28, 2016 Jul 28, 2016 Thursday, July 28 2016 Thursday, July 28, 2016 3:13:00 AM CDT in News
FULTON - A new outdoor activity has been bringing out Missourians to look for hidden rocks since the start of... More >>
7 hours ago July 27, 2016 Jul 27, 2016 Wednesday, July 27 2016 Wednesday, July 27, 2016 11:58:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - One person is dead after shots were fired at Allen Street and Lassel Place just before 8 p.m.... More >>
7 hours ago July 27, 2016 Jul 27, 2016 Wednesday, July 27 2016 Wednesday, July 27, 2016 11:37:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - KOMU 8's Target 8 investigative team has been fact checking politicans' ad campaigns in preparation for the upcoming... More >>
10 hours ago July 27, 2016 Jul 27, 2016 Wednesday, July 27 2016 Wednesday, July 27, 2016 8:57:00 PM CDT in Target 8
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A former St. Louis police detective who admitted beating a handcuffed suspect faces more than four... More >>
12 hours ago July 27, 2016 Jul 27, 2016 Wednesday, July 27 2016 Wednesday, July 27, 2016 7:12:46 PM CDT in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Senate Interim Committee held a public testimony Wednesday to discuss the MoHealthNet Pharmacy Benefits budget after... More >>
14 hours ago July 27, 2016 Jul 27, 2016 Wednesday, July 27 2016 Wednesday, July 27, 2016 5:19:00 PM CDT in News
Wright County tax collector resigns amid forgery charge HARTVILLE (AP) — A county tax collector in southern Missouri... More >>
15 hours ago July 27, 2016 Jul 27, 2016 Wednesday, July 27 2016 Wednesday, July 27, 2016 3:46:25 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Thousands of Missourians are now eligible for unemployment benefits they may not have recieved after the Missouri... More >>
15 hours ago July 27, 2016 Jul 27, 2016 Wednesday, July 27 2016 Wednesday, July 27, 2016 3:39:00 PM CDT in Top Stories
COLUMBIA- Boone and Cole counties are preparing for Tuesday's primary election. Wednesday was the last day to submit a... More >>
15 hours ago July 27, 2016 Jul 27, 2016 Wednesday, July 27 2016 Wednesday, July 27, 2016 3:36:00 PM CDT in News
BLACKBURN (AP) — Blackburn residents say they're frustrated with a company that won't maintain the pond it built next to... More >>
16 hours ago July 27, 2016 Jul 27, 2016 Wednesday, July 27 2016 Wednesday, July 27, 2016 3:15:26 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - There were three accidents within one hour on Highway 63 North Wednesday afternoon. The accidents slowed down traffic... More >>
16 hours ago July 27, 2016 Jul 27, 2016 Wednesday, July 27 2016 Wednesday, July 27, 2016 3:08:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Republican candidates for Missouri governor are debating Wednesday for the last time before next... More >>
17 hours ago July 27, 2016 Jul 27, 2016 Wednesday, July 27 2016 Wednesday, July 27, 2016 2:11:38 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A man was struck and killed by a car Tuesday after jumping from Providence Bridge onto I-70 Westbound.... More >>
20 hours ago July 27, 2016 Jul 27, 2016 Wednesday, July 27 2016 Wednesday, July 27, 2016 11:07:00 AM CDT in Top Stories
COLUMBIA- Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster is hosting free training for Prosecutors and Law Enforcement on Human Trafficking. The... More >>
20 hours ago July 27, 2016 Jul 27, 2016 Wednesday, July 27 2016 Wednesday, July 27, 2016 10:48:00 AM CDT in News
FREDERICKTOWN (AP) — A lengthy standoff in the eastern Missouri town of Fredericktown has reached a peaceful conclusion. ... More >>
22 hours ago July 27, 2016 Jul 27, 2016 Wednesday, July 27 2016 Wednesday, July 27, 2016 8:53:00 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The city of St. Louis has been ordered to pay nearly $1.5 million in damages to... More >>
22 hours ago July 27, 2016 Jul 27, 2016 Wednesday, July 27 2016 Wednesday, July 27, 2016 8:41:00 AM CDT in News
INDEPENDENCE (AP) — The reward for information in the July 2013 stabbing death of an Independence man has grown to... More >>
23 hours ago July 27, 2016 Jul 27, 2016 Wednesday, July 27 2016 Wednesday, July 27, 2016 7:47:00 AM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 74°
8am 76°
9am 77°
10am 81°
11am 83°

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
Running Wild with Bear Grylls
8:00p
Hollywood Game Night
9:00p
NBC News Special: 2016 Democratic National Convention
7:00p
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
8:00p
Beauty and the Beast
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld