Mothers Against Drunk Drivers honors police officers

8 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago September 28, 2016 Sep 28, 2016 Wednesday, September 28 2016 Wednesday, September 28, 2016 6:20:00 PM CDT in News
By: Emma Frazier, KOMU 8 News

JEFFERSON CITY - Central Missouri Mothers Against Drunk Driving honored local police officers at an award ceremony Wednesday night.

Fifteen police officers from central Missouri were honored for their commitment to enforcing drunk driving laws. Robbie Pace Courtright, president of MADD's central Missouri office, said this is the second year her family has held this ceremony.

"We just want them to know that we appreciate them keeping our roads safe and protecting our communities and that we are with them every day and hope that they go home to their families at the end of their shift," Courtright said.

Scott Lenger of the Columbia Police Department had the highest number of arrests for drunk driving in 2015. He said he feels proud to honored with his fellow officers.

"It feels good to be able to make an immediate impact on the community to make sure nobody was hurt or killed by a drunk driver," Lenger said.

Lenger said there are so many other choices a person can make rather than driving drunk.

"It's a crime that is so easily preventable," Lenger said. "You can find a ride home from a friend, find a ride home from a cab driver, uber, walking."

The ceremony was held in memory of Duane Pace, Courtright's brother, who was killed by a drunk driver.

"In 2002, my brother Duane David Pace was killed by a drunk driver on the job. He worked for MoDOT here in Missouri," Courtright said. "Their crew was down around Republic, Missouri, working on a bridge, and he was doing signage and was hit by a drunk driver."

Lenger wants victims and their families to know there are people fighting for them.

"There are people out there trying to prevent this day in and day out.  All the police departments - nationwide, statewide, countywide - we do care, and we don't want to see victims of impaired drivers or drunk drivers," Lenger said.

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