Lawmakers Target DUI Offenders for Road Construction Money - Fewer Missouri Drunk Driving Accidents in Cape Girardeau and Elsewhere, A Laudable Effort

June 6, 2011

Missouri state lawmakers look to toughen laws on repeat drunk driving offenders in an attempt to bring in more money for road improvements, according to News-Leader. While these stricter laws may allow more money to improve our state, they could also help to reduce the risks of drunk driving car accidents in Charleston and elsewhere in the Missouri.
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Sen. Bill Stouffer, a Napton Republican, says the changes would allow the state of Missouri to redirect more than $15 million in federal funds from highway safety programs to road construction.

Our Southeast Missouri car accident attorneys understand that this money would benefit our state tremendously, but we think reducing the risk of DWI crashes could be the biggest benefit. The new bill would only allow repeat offenders to obtain limited driving privileges. Under this proposed rule, offenders would only be allowed to drive to school, work, alcohol or drug treatments or to an ignition interlock provider.

The bill would also sentence repeat offenders to complete community service and court-ordered treatment programs in order to avoid jail time. This too, would also help improve our state conditions.

A House committee heard testimony on the bill earlier this month. The Senate passed it last month.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 11,000 people were killed in accidents involving a driver impaired by alcohol in 2009. These types of accidents accounted for 32 percent of the total motor vehicle accident fatalities in the U.S. that same year.

Missouri saw nearly 400 fatalities from traffic accidents that involved and intoxicated driver in 2009.

Residents can do their part to reduce the risks of one of these fatal accidents by following these tips to prevent someone from driving while impaired:

-If the person that is trying to drive while intoxicated is a close friend, suggest that they've had too much to drink and it would be a better idea for them to let someone else drive them home or to take a cab. Try to make it sound like you are doing them a favor because you truly care.

-If the person that is trying to drive while intoxicated is somebody you don't know very well, talk with their friends and try to get them make an attempt to persuade the drinker to hand over the keys.

-If the person that is trying to drive while intoxicated is a good friend, spouse or significant other, tell them that if they insist on driving that you are not going to be riding with them. Tell them that you will either call someone else for a ride, take a taxi or walk home. Try to locate the person's keys while they're preoccupied, take them and hide them. Hopefully they will just think they have just lost the keys and will be forced to find another, safer way home. Try to avoid embarrassing the person or becoming confrontational.

If you've been involved car accident in New Madrid, Perryville, Sikeston, Jackson or any of the surrounding areas with drunk driver, call 573-334-7959 today for a confidential consultation to discuss your rights. Attorney meetings by appointment only.

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