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Jefferson City police announce additional officers during holiday weekend

Jefferson City police announced on Tuesday that there will be additional officers enforcing traffic laws on Wednesday with an emphasis on hazardous moving violations.

On Wednesday evening, police will be focusing their attention on impaired drivers.

“Typically it’s very busy,” said Sgt. Doug Ruediger. “A lot of people in town, a lot of people like to go out the night before Thanksgiving, so we’ll be patrolling the areas and hoping people make the right choices to not drink and drive.”

Ruediger said officers arrested eight people on suspicion of driving while intoxicated last Thanksgiving weekend. He said three of those arrests happened Wednesday night.

“I would say most people are just trying to have a good time and don’t give us a whole lot of trouble,” he said. “There’s that small percentage that take it to the extreme and I think they’re making decisions that they wouldn’t make if they were sober.”

The additional officers will be funded through grants provided by the Missouri Department of Transportation.

The night before Thanksgiving is also a busy night for Jefferson City bars.

“This is by far the busiest night just because all the people are back in town,” said Scot Drinkard, owner of Spectators. “College kids usually come back to see their parents.”

Dan Pfenenger, owner of J. Pfenny’s said for the most part the crowds are responsible.

“This time of year since we have so many college kids, we actually have a lot of parents pick them up,” he said. “They’ll drop them off knowing what’s going on and pick them up at the end of the night.”

Many Jefferson City bars participate in the Safe Ride Home program. It offers a cab ride home for up to $10.

“It got to a point where you would call the cab company and it would take an hour to get a cab,” said Drinkard, who helped start the program. “When someone’s at that stage where it’s time to go, it’s time to go.”

Police are also asking motorists on Black Friday to be attentive with their driving and be patient throughout the day. Officers will be looking for instances of road rage and aggressive driving, and laws will be strictly enforced.

Police also ask that residents be cautious leaving packages in plain view in their vehicles and always secure them when they are unattended.

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