COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says one in three traffic deaths in the United States involves drunken drivers and that more than 3,000 alcohol-related deaths occurred in Missouri from 2003 to 2012.
Monday evening, Eric Bader was charged in Cole County with DWI, registering a breath test at .357. According to court documents, he has five prior alcohol convictions.
In the latest case, the arresting officer noticed Bader's watery, bloodshot, glassy eyes and the strong smell of alcohol.
Jefferson City police said they did not administer the walk-and-turn and one leg stand tests due to the single-digit temperatures outside, but Bader clearly appeared intoxicated.
Bader was heading eastbound in the westbound lanes of West Main Street, which happens to be a divided roadway in Jefferson City, Missouri.
Boone County Sheriff Sgt. Brian Leer said it's quite unfortunate that they often have to arrest individuals with prior DWIs. In the state of Missouri, a third conviction of driving while intoxicated makes the offense a felony, even if the prior two were more than 20 years earlier.
Leer said in Boone County alone, he's even seen people who have had up to 10 DWIs.
Drivers with a blood alcohol concentration of more than 0.08 percent or higher are considered drunken drivers and considered alcohol-impaired by law.
Phoneix Health Programs in Columbia is just one of many recovery locations that strive to improve the health and quality of life for those affected by drug and alcohol abuse.
Heather Harlan, prevention and treatment engagement specialist with Phoneix Health Programs, said a lot of people with repeated drunk-driving arrests have co-occurring mental health issues. In some cases, clinical depression, clinical anxiety, ADHD or trauma that make the brain more vulnerable to alcohol and drug-related addiction.