Jefferson City police department

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JEFFERSON CITY – The Jefferson City Police Department will be participating in the ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ campaign starting Friday. The campaign is a nationwide event and the focus is to reduce impaired driving.

In 2016, more than 200 people died and 664 were seriously injured in crashes with at least one impaired driver. Overall, 23 percent of traffic fatalities in Missouri in 2016 involved impaired driving.

Captain Doug Shoemaker, public information officer for the JCPD, said the department’s long relationship with the Missouri Department of Transportation helps the effort to reduce deaths caused by or related to with impairment.

“This partnership really allows us to get federal grant funds to pay over time for our officers to come in without really affecting the city budget,” he said. “But this allows us to add extra officers, perhaps in the traffic unit or extra patrol officers that can come in and supplement that and give us an extra set of eyes out there.”

Shoemaker said just patrolling isn’t enough to stop drivers that are impaired.

“I think the best fight to that and counter to that would be education and making sure people understand the risks involved,” he said.

The campaign begins on Aug. 18 and runs through September 3.