It’s that crunch of metal and shattering of glass. And Joplin Police are seeing many examples of drunk drivers ending up in a wreck. In fact, they’ve already handed out hundreds of DWI’s this year.
There have been 306 DWI’s so far this year, and that’s far too many drunk drivers on the road for Korey Kessinger of Joplin.
Korey Kessinger, Joplin: “She had just a little bit of a buzz. She got in the car and thought she was safe to drive home.”
But Kessinger’s mom wasn’t, blacking out and rolling her car three times. She barely survived, and Kessinger took her experience to heart.
Korey Kessinger, Joplin: “If I have a buzz, I’m not driving.”
Now Joplin Police are hoping to drive that message home for those who don’t have that kind of impact. JPD is part of a federal pilot project to tailor DWI awareness and prevention efforts.
JPD Capt. Trevor Duncan: “Deter drunk driving altogethet because we know not every drunk driver gets arrested. So if we can keep impaired drivers off the road to begin with, that’s our goal.”
Capt. Trevor Duncan points out this is a good time of year to focus on drunk driving. Arrests generally rise at the end of the year due to the holidays and the festivities that come with them.
JPD Capt. Trevor Duncan: “Really between Thanksgiving and Christmas, we see a lot of get togethers, office parties and family parties where alcohol is involved. And people that may not regularly drive impaired are taking those chances.”
But the risk of a DWI or wreck isn’t one Korey Kessigner is willing to take.
Korey Kessigner, Joplin: “Everytime I go out with friends that’s stuck in the back of my mind.”
Statewide DWI numbers went down a bit in 2016 about three percent, and in Joplin there was a slight increase.
Raising awareness will hopefully reduce drunk driving, or increase arrest numbers as officers catch more drunk drivers.