Tricia Carcopa

Missouri state executive director of Mothers Against Drunk Driving

1 How many drunken driving related accidents were there in Missouri last new year?
Missouri had just under 1,000. Those were just the fatalities. That doesn’t include the people who were injured, which was in the thousands.

2 What is the maximum penalty for someone caught drinking and driving?
We really have, pretty much, a catch and release program. People caught can face jail time. But there are over 6,000 cases that haven’t been disposed. They haven’t been processed through the court system. What it should say to residents is there are 6,000 people who haven’t been processed, which means they are probably still driving.

3 How long, on average, does it take to feel the effects of alcohol? Do you have to be “legally drunk” to be impaired?
You could be impaired with one drink. That’s why high visibility law enforcement will be out on New Year’s Eve with their saturation programs and sobriety check points. Their message is if you’re going to drink one drink, don’t drive.

4 On average, how many drinks does it take to reach the legal limit?
There are so many variables. It’s really hard to say. A person could be intoxicated with one drink. It depends on their height, their weight, how much they’ve had to eat. That’s why the message generally is if you’re going to drink, don’t drive.

5 What services are available to ensure someone gets home safely?
Holiday Cab will run on New Year’s Eve. But, for the most part, people are just encouraged to get a designated driver.

The Yellow Cab company provides the holiday cab from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. New Years Eve. Passengers can call Yellow Cab Co., 816-471-5000, for a ride, and the first $25 is free. Any fare beyond $25 is the passenger’s responsibility. According to Yellow Cab Co., the average fare is $2.50 to get in the cab and an additional $2.10 a mile.