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More Officers Looking for Drunk Drivers Through Labor Day

Beginning this week, law enforcement agencies all over the state will be stepping up their enforcement of drunk driving laws. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.

The increased enforcement begins August 18th and runs through the end of the Labor Day weekend September 4th.

Missouri is participating in a national campaign known as "You drink and drive. You lose."

The state is using federal funds for the project, awarding the money to law enforcement agencies like the Highway Patrol.

Captain Tim Hull is the director of public information for the patrol.

He says the patrol will use the money to have extra officers on duty.

Hull says this is the ideal time of year to have extra officers on the road looking for drunk drivers.

That special enforcement means sobriety checkpoints and saturation.

Hull says saturating an area is similar to a checkpoint.

Hull advises making plans BEFORE heading out for a party or any gathering where alcohol will be served.

He says it's a big mistake to wait until you've been drinking to decide how you're getting home.

When drivers go through sobriety checkpoints or get pulled over, the officer usually just asks the driver some questions.

If the officer believes the driver has been drinking, the driver will have to take a field sobriety test.

Hull says when officers believe a driver is impaired, they make an arrest.

According to the Missouri Department of Transportation, there were more than 78 hundred alcohol-related traffic crashes.

Hull says Missouri does better than many states.

Again, law enforcement agencies across Missouri will be stepping up their enforcement of drunk driving laws beginning this Friday through September 4th.