JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri- Lieutenant Colonel Eric T. Olson, acting superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, would like to remind the public there are resources available for those whose lives have been impacted by an impaired driver.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol offers assistance to victims of impaired drivers through its Filling a V.O.I.D. program. Filling a V.O.I.D. has provided information, support, and assistance to victims and their families since 1997. Often, the troopers who work the road are the first persons to encounter victims. Thus, every trooper receives specialized training while attending the Patrol’s Law Enforcement Academy. Every zone has someone who serves as a coordinator for the Filling a V.O.I.D. program and every troop has a designated troop coordinator. We understand that troopers and advocates can impact the long-term recovery of a victim by helping them and their families obtain assistance from victim service providers and other organizations during a traumatic time in their lives.
“If you, a member of your family, or a passenger in your vehicle have been injured by an impaired driver (alcohol or drugs), you are eligible for assistance through the Filling a V.O.I.D. program,” said Lt. Col. Olson. “Pedestrians or their family members who have been involved in an impairment-related traffic crash also qualify.”
If you are a victim of an impaired driver, please don’t hesitate to contact the Patrol’s civilian victim advocate or call the Crime Victim Hotline. To utilize the Filling a V.O.I.D. civilian victim advocate and resources, go to the Patrol’s website and click on Programs/Services and choose the “Victims of Impaired Drivers” link. The advocate can help you understand the criminal justice process, address your concerns, and request information. You can also call the Crime Victim Hotline 1-888-773-1800.
Driving impaired endangers everyone in or near the vehicle. A driver’s reaction time, judgment, comprehension, coordination, and vision are all affected when impaired. Missouri law outlines in detail the consequences of impaired driving. Unfortunately, there are drivers who disregard the effects alcohol and drugs have on their ability to drive. Preliminary statistics show there have been 4,085 traffic crashes involving impaired drivers thus far in 2018. In those crashes, 137 people died and 2,301 people were injured.
“Removing impaired drivers from Missouri’s roadways is a top priority for every trooper,” said Lt. Col. Olson. “Driving impaired is never the right choice. Please choose to designate a sober driver or call a cab.”
Follow the Missouri State Highway Patrol on Twitter @MSHPTrooperGHQ