KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Mothers Against Drunk Driving partnered with 58 local law enforcement agencies Aug. 25 for the second annual Saturation Saturday, an metrowide effort to get drunk drivers off the streets.
The event, which started in 2017, is part of the national “Drive Sober, Don’t Get Pulled Over” campaign.
The impact of drunk driving is something Annette Murray knows all too well. Her sister and niece died July 4, 2008, while they were on their way to meet Murray for breakfast.
“They were just a few miles away from the restaurant that we were meeting them,” Murray said.
Tragedy associated with impaired driving didn’t stop there for Murray. Her brother-in-law also died in a crash with a drunk driver.
“It devastated our family," Murray said. "Our family is not the same anymore. We don’t have them for any celebrations. We don’t have them for Christmas or birthdays."
Fellow MADD member Leann Lewis lost her dad to a drunk driver on Sept. 11, 2008.
“He was my hero, my best friend, my biggest cheerleader, and I just miss him and our relationship,” Lewis said.
MADD hopes Saturation Saturday puts a stop to such deaths by raising awareness that law enforcement will be on the lookout overnight, conducting sobriety checkpoints or adding officers in saturation patrols solely to focus on drunk driving.
“We’re trying to cut down on the fatalities in the state of Missouri and obviously impaired drivers lead to the number of fatalities we have in the state of Missouri,” Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop A Lt. Dale Jenkins said.
Jenkins and MADD urge the public to use Uber, Lyft or a taxi if you don’t have a designated driver.
“The consequences are too great, so take a minute, ask a friend to help you get home and make those decisions before you get out,” Jenkins said.
The Saturday Saturation program started in Kansas City and St. Louis last year, but it now has spread to Illinois and New York.