Cole County cracking down on drunk driving

Protocol for issuing a DWI

"We have a zero tolerance policy.  If you come in contact with one of our officers and you've been put through the process and we determine you are impaired, we are going to arrest you," said Captain Dave Williams of the Jefferson City Police Department.

Williams said, "We tend to come in contact with an intoxicated driver, daily."

The legal blood alcohol limit in Missouri is .08.

Williams said, unfortunately, there is no way to determine how many drinks will get a person to stay below the legal limit.

He said it all depends on a persons weight and how frequently they drink.

Williams said, "Our goal, no matter what time of year, is to get impaired drivers off the roads."

Cole County Prosecutor, Mark Richardson said, "The first time DWI is a up to six months in jail and a five hundred dollar fine."

"A second DWI is a maximum of 5 years in jail and up to a $1000 fine," said Richardson.

In the state of Missouri, when someone receives a third DWI, it is a felony.

Richardson said, "There are instances when a person can spend the rest of their life in prison from drunk driving.  If someone has two prior driving while intoxicated convictions and ends up having a wreck and kills someone, that is felony murder.  They can be in prison anywhere from ten years to life in prison for that."

Richardson also explained how someone can be arrested for DWI  even when they are not actually driving the vehicle.

If someone is sitting in the driver's seat with the keys in the ignition, they are at risk for being arrested for drunk driving.

"They are technically in a position to operate the vehicle and so they can be found to be operating while intoxicated," said Richardson.

In the year 2013, 369 people were arrested in Cole County for drunk driving.

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