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Police Step Up DWI Patrols

The night before Thanksgiving is considered the biggest bar night of the year and Jefferson City police planned to step up enforcement to keep an eye out for drunk drivers.Police have been working to cut down on holiday DWIs for nearly 20 years. The department even partnered with a local beverage company to provide free rides home to Capital City revelers.”Especially here in Jefferson City, the bar crowd tonight is exceptionally huge,” said J. Pfenny’s general manager Jay Chesire.The night is so big, employees at J. Pfenny’s spent the day clearing out chairs and tables to make the entire place standing room only. They are open for business all night, but so is the cop shop.Jefferson City police have twice the number of patrols hitting the streets around midnight to look for drunk drivers.”It’s the busiest night in terms of number of people that attend local bars,” said Capt. Doug Shoemaker.The safest bet for Thanksgiving Eve is to grab a sober driver card from the bar. The card is good for a $10 cab ride home or to a hotel.”It won’t get you to another bar, it’ll get you home though,” said Capt. Shoemaker.Police and bar owners say the free ride home is better than a fine for driving while drunk.Wednesday night’s extra patrols are funded through a state grant to the Jefferson City Police Department.Last year, Missouri State Highway Patrol reported four deaths on the road Thanksgiving weekend, down from seven deaths in 2010.

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