Posted: Mar 17, 2014 11:30 AM by Lee Anne Denyer, KOMU 8 Reporter
Updated: Mar 18, 2014 3:26 PM
COLUMBIA - Twelve drivers received DWIs St. Patrick's Day weekend according to Columbia and Boone County law enforcement.
The Columbia Police Department and the Boone County Sheriff's Department assisted each other with a total of three checkpoints throughout the weekend. The extended enforcement began Friday, March 14 and lasts through Monday, March 17.
On Friday, deputies conducted a checkpoint on Highway VV in the early evening. Boone County Sheriff's Sgt. Brian Leer said 400 cars passed through the checkpoint between about 7 p.m. and 10 p.m.
During that time, deputies did not arrest any drunk drivers. Deputies conducted several sobriety tests, but drivers were not believed to be impaired by alcohol. Deputies did issue additional citations for drivers passing through the checkpoint for non-alcohol related issues including marijuana possession, diving without a license and child restraint violations
Leer said that the checkpoint helps even if no DWIs are issued.
"I can almost guarantee that every driver that came through that checkpoint is telling at least one, possibly 10 or more people about their experience coming through the checkpoint and that really helps get the message out there," he said.
Later on in the evening, deputies moved to assist Columbia Police with a downtown Columbia checkpoint at Locust and Waugh. Columbia Police officers arrested two for driving while intoxicated at that checkpoint.
Leer said an additional deputy made a DWI arrest Friday night while on patrol.
Late Friday and into Saturday morning, officers arrested nine more at a checkpoint on Locust and Fourth Street.
The Columbia Police Department said a grant from MoDOT funded the additional checkpoints.