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Missouri officials increase drunk driving enforcement

Law enforcement officials in Missouri have boosted drunk driving enforcement and that could result in increased DWI charges.

The "Drive sober or get pulled over" campaign began on Aug. 17. Missouri is one of four states participating in the enforcement efforts. During the campaign, authorities will conduct sobriety checkpoints and DWI saturation patrols. News reports indicate that Columbia is one of the cities where law enforcement officials will take "significant measures" to decrease the number of drunk drivers on the road.

A drunk driving charge is serious. If convicted, people could face fines of up to $500. They may also lose their driver's license for 30 days and spend up to six months behind bars. In addition, a conviction could result in increased insurance rates and could damage a person's reputation.

Missouri residents who face DWI charges may feel that the cards are stacked against them. However, law enforcement officials have certain procedures they must follow. If those procedures were not followed, the evidence authorities have against an individual may be thrown out.

Being charged with DWI can be overwhelming and frightening. However, people do not have to go through the criminal proceedings alone. Working with an experienced criminal defense attorney as early on the process as possible is often wise. An attorney will review the evidence in a case to be sure an individual's rights have not and will not be violated. With a strong defense, an individual could face reduced penalties. They may even have their case thrown out altogether.

Source: KRCG, "Missouri law enforcement says 'Drive sober or get pulled over'," Aug. 17, 2012

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