Local law enforcement steps up DWI patrols ahead of holidays

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BOONE COUNTY - As mid-Missourians prepare for the holiday season, campaigns are underway nationwide to ensure roads are safe for drivers.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol's records show DWI arrests for alcohol intoxication have dropped in recent years. From 2013 to 2014, the arrests dropped by 15 percent.

Nationwide, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data showed drunk driving deaths went down by 50 percent from 1980 to 2012.

Still, law enforcement is doing what it can to make sure people are driving safely on the roads. The Boone County Sheriff's Department announced Wednesday it will conduct a sobriety checkpoint sometime between Thursday and Sunday.

Sergeant Brian Leer with the Boone County Sheriff's Department said this specific checkpoint is not directly related to the holiday season but rather to grants the department gets to do them.

"The idea is to have regular enforcement," Leer said. "It's a multi-faceted approach to DWI enforcement."

It comes ahead of a nationwide push to patrol the roads during the holiday season. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has campaigns around the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays to ensure safer driving with the help of law enforcement.

"It normally coincides with when they've seen rises in impaired driving crashes," Leer said. "We try to do it regularly throughout the year."

Leer said the Boone County Sheriff Department's will start late at night and end early in the next morning during its Thursday through Sunday window of enforcement.