Kansas City, MO- Christmas and New Year’s Eve are still a few weeks away, but law enforcement agencies in Jackson County and throughout the state are gearing up to catch intoxicated drivers during the hurried and frenetic holiday season.

The weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve are a busy time on the streets of Kansas City as more people take to the roads. There is shopping to be done, parties to attend and family to visit, so naturally there will be significant increase a street and highway traffic and with all of that increased traffic comes an increase in intoxicated drivers. During this period, nationwide DUI/DWI crashes and arrests spike. A 2013 survey from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) showed that 75 percent of respondents knew someone who drove when they had too much to drink at least once during the holiday season.

Law enforcement agencies in Missouri know this so they are launching their holiday DWI campaign December 12th. The “Drive Sober, Get Pulled Over” DWI enforcement push will continue through January 1st and will include more officers patrolling the streets along with sobriety checkpoints to keep potentially dangerous drivers off the road.

Missouri residents will also see a number of TV commercials warning motorists of the risks they face when they drive while intoxicated by drugs or alcohol.

According to KSHB, a DWI accident occurs in Kansas City once every six hours. They gleaned that fact from a study the TV station conducted with the assistance of Mid-America Regional Council (MARC). So far this year, 233 people have been killed in Missouri DWI accidents.

The TV station also learned the weekend nights between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. is the time when the majority of DWI accidents and arrests occur. Additionally, motorists between the age of 20 and 34 account of 51 percent of DWI offenders.

Do you know the consequences of a DWI charge in Missouri? Most people don’t until they are hit with the charge and speak with a DWI attorney. If you are convicted of a DWI in the state, you could face up to six months in jail, you may be forced to pay fines up to $500 and you will have your license suspended for at least 30 days. If a judge sees fit, you could also be ordered to install and ignition interlock device in your vehicle and the costs will have to come out of your pocket.

For sentencing purposes, the look-back period, or washout period as it’s known in Missouri is five years. That means if you get in trouble again within that time period it will affect the sentence you receive.

If you decide you don’t want to submit to a breathalyzer or chemical test be forewarned that it could cost you your driver’s license for a least a year.

Being arrested for DWI is a terrible way to spend your holiday, but if it happens you need to seek out a Missouri DWI attorney as soon as you are able. They will begin working on your defense and give you a fighting chance of avoiding the more troublesome consequences of a DWI.