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Driving without distraction of a cellphone or being under the influence of drugs or alcohol is critical says safety experts.

As the 100 deadliest days of summer come to an end, highway safety officials are encouraging drivers to not let down their guard.

“Highway fatalities continue to be on the rise with a focus on four risky behaviors: not wearing a seat belt, cellphone use while driving, excessive speeds and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol,” states a press release.

From Friday, Aug. 20 through Labor Day, law enforcement agencies across Missouri will participate in the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” impaired driving campaign. The campaign has one objective: keep impaired drivers off the roadways.

“Impaired driving continues to be a huge concern on Missouri roadways,” said Capt. John Hotz, director of the public information and education division of the Missouri State Highway Patrol. “Every year, we lose around 200 people because of this deadly decision. We will continue our year-round efforts of enforcing Missouri’s DWI laws and use this campaign to create more public awareness regarding the dangers and consequences of impaired driving.”

In 2020, there were 217 people killed and 713 people seriously injured in Missouri crashes resulting from impaired driving. During the 2020 “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, law enforcement officers in Missouri made 213 DWI arrests, 45 DUI drug arrests and 12 arrests for minors in possession.

“Each day, lives are lost or drastically changed in preventable traffic crashes caused by poor choices, including impaired driving,” said Jon Nelson, assistant to the state highway safety and traffic engineer for the Missouri Department of Transportation. “It’s a selfish choice and, too often, a choice that instantly impacts other people. We all have a shared responsibility to use the roadways in a safe manner, and it’s not complicated. If you plan to get buzzed or high, make a plan to stay off the roads.”

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