Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Legislative Proposal Ramps Up Dangers from Drunken Driving

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Legislative Proposal Ramps Up Dangers from Drunken Driving

Article excerpt

Sobriety checkpoints are one of the best ways to stop drunken driving. Unfortunately, legislation is pending in Missouri that would roll back the state's sobriety checkpoints. Rep. Bart Korman, R-High Hill, has introduced an amendment to reduce state funding for sobriety checkpoints to just $1. This amendment would result in an increase in drunken driving deaths and would have a devastating effect on highway safety in Missouri.

I know all too well the dangers and consequences of drunken driving. My brother Duane David Pace was hit and killed by a drunken driver on May 13, 2002, the day after Mother's Day. Duane worked for the Missouri Department of Transportation on the bridge maintenance crew. He was 34 and from California, Mo. He was directing traffic at an intersection when a drunken driver came out of the stop lane and hit him. Duane was killed instantly, and yet the pain of his death will remain forever.

Duane was a son, a brother and a father of three. His boys meant the world to him. A portion of U.S. Route 50 in California was designated by the Missouri Legislature as the Duane David Pace Memorial Highway.

My goal is to make sure others are aware of the dangers of drunken driving and to try to prevent more senseless and avoidable deaths like Duane's.

Drunken driving remains the No. 1 killer on our nation's roads. Nationally, over 10,000 people died in 2015 because of drunken driving. In Missouri, 224 people died in 2015 because of this completely preventable crime. This is unacceptable.

Research by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows that states conducting checkpoints reduce drunken driving deaths by 20 percent. But many people are misinformed about sobriety checkpoints. The goal isn't just to catch drunken drivers, but to deter them from driving drunk in the first place. The idea is to widely publicize checkpoints to remind drivers that if they drink and drive impaired, they will get caught. …

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