Online finance website Wallethub ranks St. Louis 11th, Kansas City 69th and Springfield 123rd among U.S. cities for their St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol is having a troop-wide special enforcement operation this weekend to focus on drivers who might go overboard on celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. Other Missouri law enforcement agencies are also boosting patrols this weekend.
Those spending the weekend on Missouri’s waterways can also expect to see troopers keeping an eye on water activities. Patrol Sgt. Scott White tells Missourinet law enforcement officers have the same goal – to keep people safe.
“There’s not necessarily an emphasis on the major roadways,” says White. “It’s troop-wide. It’s every one of those roadways that officers are going to keep an eye on.”
White says getting a ticket for drunk driving is the least of your worries.
“If you do get cited for it, if you do get arrested, you’re looking at fines, you’re looking at higher insurance, you’re looking at possible jail time. In addition to that, you’re going to get your driver’s license suspended or revoked or a number of things. It’s very inconvenient and it’s expensive,” he says. “The costs are just compounded. You have the attorney fees. You have the fines. You have the driver’s license fees. You have the time off of work to go into court.”
During last year’s St. Patty’s weekend enforcement, the patrol handled two fatality crashes statewide. He says the most important part to remember is that drunk drivers can easily kill someone.
“People have to understand that driving is the first privilege we earn in our lives that allows us to kill another human being without any intent whatsoever. That’s what people have to remember is that every one of these DWI arrests, every one of these DWI crashes that we work are completely preventable. They do not have to happen,” he says.
White also says about 66% of the people killed in Missouri vehicle crashes this year were not wearing their seatbelts.