SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – All across Missouri over the weekend, law enforcement agencies made focused efforts to catch impaired drivers. Ozarks First spoke with Springfield Police about how many people they arrested for DWI Saturday night.
Springfield police arrested five people on Saturday for driving while intoxicated. That may not seem like a high number but SPD said it is, especially since they arrested those five drivers in a six-hour period.
“We try to do a saturation patrol quarterly,” SPD Lt. Jeremy Anderson said. “This last Saturday, the 27th was kind of a statewide program where multiple agencies through the state of Missouri participated in it.”
SPD sets boundaries in town to monitor drivers.
“For example, we may have boundaries, you know, currently on the north side to Sunshine on the south side, West Bypass to on the west side to Glenstone on the east side,” Anderson said.
Officers patrolled the area from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. Anderson said these are peak bar hours, which means more drunk drivers could be on the roads.
“If you’re driving impaired, the percentage of your chances of getting into a crash, whether it be a two-vehicle crash or one-vehicle crash, go way up,” Anderson said.
SPD pulled over a total of 81 drivers and arrested five drivers for DWI. One was arrested for an outstanding warrant. Anderson said there are multiple consequences a person can receive if they are arrested for DWI.
“Your insurance rates can go up,” Anderson said. “You may have to get an interlock ignition on your vehicle. You would also lose your driving privileges for up to a year, even more. If you’re impaired and you get into a crash, the chances of you going to jail and spending some time in jail, some significant time in jail, especially if there’s injuries, because then it becomes an assault in the state of Missouri.”
For young adults like Carli Snyder, she and her friends always make sure at least one person is sober.
“I’ve definitely been the Designated Driver for a lot of my friends’ 21st. Why take the risk?” Snyder said. “It helps that I live downtown. So if I go out to bars or whatever, I can kind of walk home, you know, with friends, of course, making sure I’m safe and everything.”
Saturation Patrol is funded through MoDOT and is something the department attempts to do quarterly,