Holiday Increases Law Enforcement on Roads in Columbia

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COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department is increasing enforcement on roadways for the holiday beginning July 2.

The police department received a grant from the Missouri Department of Transportation's Highway Safety Division to remove impaired drivers from the road. Saturation patrol is increasing for the weekend, and there is at least one checkpoint within the city of Columbia.

More than 30 percent of all Missouri traffic fatalities are due to impaired drivers. The number of car accident-related deaths has increased in Columbia in 2014. Six people died in car accidents in the first five months of this year. Most of the car accidents involved impaired drivers. 244 people were killed and 3,800 people were injured in crashes involving drivers under the influence in Missouri in 2012.

Missouri has a zero tolerance policy for driving while intoxicated. If a driver's blood alcohol content is .08 percent or higher, the driver is considered legally intoxicated. For a first offense of driving under the influence, the driver's license will be revoked for 30 days plus a 60 day suspension. If a fatal crash is caused while a driver is intoxicated, the driver can be charged with involuntary manslaughter, a $5,000 fine, or both.

The Columbia Police Department's increased roadway enforcement will end July 6.