Franklin County deputies did not arrest any impaired drivers during a statewide high-visibility campaign to combat impaired driving.
However, the sheriff’s department made several arrests for other offenses during “Saturation Saturday” held Aug. 25.
This enforcement campaign was publicized and called upon drivers to find alternative methods of transportation if consuming alcohol. The Sheriff’s office had additional deputies working this enforcement campaign paid for with a grant through the Missouri Department of Transportation as well as Missouri Safety Center.
The department also called upon their patrol division reserve deputies to assist in the enforcement campaign. These deputies are unpaid and unselfishly donate their time to the sheriff’s office when they are called upon.
At the conclusion of the eight-hour enforcement campaign, deputies had reported a total of 94 traffic stops made. From these stops were four fugitive arrests, five drug arrests and 38 summons for other traffic-related offenses. Deputies made no contact with impaired drivers throughout the entirety of the campaign.
There has been a 3 percent increase in traffic-related fatalities in 2018. As of Aug. 26, there have been 596 deaths on Missouri roadways, up from 582 in 2017 in the same time frame, and 569 in 2016. Law enforcement agencies are seeing a dangerous trend in that impaired driving deaths in the state are up a total of 60 percent for 2018. Of the 596 fatal traffic crashes for 2018, 60 percent of drivers and occupants have been unbuckled.
“There are many drivers occupying Franklin County roadways and the sheriff’s office asks, ‘if you see something, say something,’ ”said Sgt. Jason Weggemann with the traffic safety unit. All drivers at one point have observed persons whom they feel are either driving impaired or distracted. Please call 911 when you encounter a dangerous driver on the roadways.
“You may be saving a life. As a community, law enforcement and the public should work together in making our roadways safer for all who travel them.”
The overall safety of the motoring public is of the utmost importance to the Sheriff’s Office as they see on a frequent basis how an impaired, distracted or aggressive driving crash can forever change the lives of all involved, he added. The sheriff’s office will continue to devote its resources through education and enforcement in making the roadways safer for the motoring public.