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Missouri police team up to deter drunk driving

According to sources, the Central Ozarks Regional DWI Task Force has been created to crack down on drunk drivers by conducting more checkpoints, even in remote areas. Police say that DWI checkpoints sometimes cost thousands of dollars in resources and manpower, and some cities are unable to afford them. However, this new task force is charged with making sure that this is no longer the case.

State, county and city police, accounting for nearly 24 police departments, have combined their money, resources and manpower to roll out more checkpoints across the Ozarks region. Officers say that checkpoints require trucks, lights, cones and other equipment that small towns and cities do not have access to. Under this new task force, however, the participating police departments will share everything that is needed to conduct DWI checkpoints. Police believe that working together and covering more ground will translate to safer roads.

According to the chief of Kimberling City Police, there are only six officers on staff, which is not enough manpower for the department to conduct a DWI checkpoint on its own. The police chief says he has never even carried out a DWI checkpoint, but now he will get experience doing it through this new program. A representative for the Springfield Police Department says that the task force will be responsible for meeting the checkpoint needs of each department.

In Missouri, people who are charged with DWI may face losing their driver's license, paying fines and spending time in jail. However, a lawyer with experience in DWI cases may be able to mount a strong defense that could potentially challenge the drunk driving charges. For instance, if the police officer did not have probable cause for issuing a traffic stop or if the alcohol testing equipment was calibrated incorrectly, that evidence may not be admissable in court.

Source: KY 3, "Police departments team up to crack down on drunken drivers", Ashley Reynolds, March 11, 2014

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