How safe are we from drunk drivers?

While legislators debate lowering the blood alcohol limit, drunk drivers are still driving on Missouri roads even after they’re convicted of the crime.

You could fill the Hearnes Center about 60 times with Missourians who have been convicted of driving while intoxicated since 1979, certainly nothing to cheer about. So how safe are you from drunk drivers? Well, one former Jefferson City judge conducted his own research and he found that at any given moment in Jefferson City as many as one thousand drivers are driving with suspended or revoked licenses because of prior drunk driving convictions. And worse yet…Clyde Angle says a conviction doesn’t mean the driver’s off the road.

Clyde Angle, drunk driving activist, said, “I think what was startling was the number of these high risk chronic offenders that are in our community; in Jefferson City, for instance, right now, today, driving on our streets.”

So how do we keep our roads safe from drunk drivers? Angle says using technology that keeps drunk drivers from starting their cars…like ignition interlock devices… and more treatment centers are part of the solution. Angle says in his law enforcement experience, fines and jail sentences are not enough for repeat drunk driving offenders. And, he presented his findings to the Governor’s commission on drunk driving last November…but Angle says no one from the Governor’s office has contacted him yet.

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