Sheriff warns of costs of impaired driving

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Department is warning about the consequences if you are caught drinking and driving this holiday weekend.

According to Sheriff Rick Meyer, if you are caught operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, you will be handcuffed and taken to the sheriff’s department. You and your car will be searched and your vehicle will be towed at your expense. At the station, you will be asked to take a certified breath test. If you refuse, your drivers license will automatically be suspended for one year. If you take the test and your blood alcohol level is .08 percent or greater, your license will also be suspended and you will have to post bond to be released from jail.

If you are convicted, you will have to pay court costs and fees of more than $300, plus any fine. You could receive a jail sentence, have your license suspended and be required to attend drug and alcohol classes. You could also have to submit to random drug screenings.

Meyer said that the penalties increase if this is your second or third arrest for driving under the influence.

Meyer said he hopes that everyone has a fun and festive time over the holiday, but make sure you do so responsibly.

Meyer provided tips on safe drinking during the holidays from Mothers Against Drunk Driving:

  • Plan ahead and always designate a non-drinking driver
  • Never ride with a drunk or impaired driver
  • Choose to be the non-drinking designated driver
  • Host parties that include non-alcoholic beverages
  • Provide alternate transportation for guests who choose to drink