Jefferson City cracks down on DWI enforcement

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JEFFERSON CITY - The Jefferson City Police Department joined together with other agencies in Missouri to increase DWI enforcement during the holiday months. The new enforcement starts Dec. 12 and runs until Jan. 1. 

According to last year's statistics, eighteen percent of 2013's drunk driving related deaths in Missouri occurred during this month long period.

The police station will increase patrols and have officers work overtime. 

Officers said the overall nature of the holidays means more work for them. 

Jefferson City Public Information Officer Doug Shoemaker said holidays translate to parties and possible problems. 

"Whether it's a New Years Eve party, or the night before Thanksgiving, which is always a big bar night locally for us... or over that whole time period when maybe people are home, there's not much going on, people are going to the bars and they're just making that wrong choice to go out and drink and drive."

This new enforcement is possible because of a grant given to Jefferson City police department from MoDOT. 

Shoemaker said the officers don't want to give out these DWIs. 

"We'd rather people just make the smart choice ahead of time and get home safely and not jeopardize their lives or anyone else," said Shoemaker. 

The police department urges citizens to follow simple tips to stay safe this holiday season:

1. Don't risk it. If you plan to drink, don't drive. 

2. Choose a designated driver before going out. 

3. Have an establishment call Sober Driver for a ride home in Jefferson City. 

4. Always wear your seatbelt. It's the best defense against impaired drivers. 

This is the 15th year the Jefferson City Police Department has been implementing this increase in enforcement. 

Boone County and Columbia are also taking steps to prevent drunk driving, and the Columbia Police Department said they will be increasing their enforcement through Jan. 1. 

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