Ride Along: Columbia police on the lookout for impaired drivers

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COLUMBIA - Columbia Police stepped up enforcement this Labor Day weekend by cracking down on impaired driving.

"We don't want to see innocent people get hurt so the enforcement is a key part of that to drive down the fatality numbers from impaired drivers," Perkins said.

Today is the last day of the "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign by the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety.

Sergeant Curtis Perkins volunteered to help the DWI units patrol for impaired driving Friday night. He said the CPD increased the amount of officers out patrolling because of the holiday weekend because of the potential for more impaired drivers.

When on patrol, Perkins said he looks for hazardous driving, such as speeding, lane violations, ignoring stop signs, drivers not using their turn signals or drivers forgetting to turn their headlights on.

Last year CPD made 314 DWI arrests, 27 DUI drug arrests, 11 drug influence arrests and 127 MIPs during the campaign.

About 30 percent of all traffic fatalities involved impaired driving, according to the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety.

"I encourage everybody to be a defensive driver all the time while driving around. Always watch for other traffic, expected or unexpected especially when you're talking about impaired driving," Perkins said.

KOMU also spoke with other local law enforcement about how they enforced DWI laws this holiday weekend. Both the Callaway County Sheriff's Department and the Jefferson City Police Department said they increased the amount of officers on the roadways, specifically looking for impaired driving.

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