Aurora-Marionville Police Department using grant to stop intoxicated drivers

Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 6:05 PM CDT
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AURORA, Mo. (KY3) -The Aurora-Marionville Police Department is using new grant money to have more officers watching for people driving under the influence.

The money from The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety will give the department more money to let more officers come in on their off time, get paid overtime, and enforce those DUI and DWI laws.

Chief Wes Coatney with the Aurora-Marionville Police Department says grants like these are helpful in catching people driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

“It’s a reimbursement grant,” said Chief Coatney. “So when we use over time, to have an officer go out and work these enforcement grants, then that grant reimburses the city or the agency for the overtime spent doing those enforcement activities.”

The grant work kicked off March 17th when police arrested a man they say was on both marijuana and meth when they stopped him. It was the second methamphetamine-related arrest in Aurora-Marionville in the last 24 hours.

Chief Coatney says meth in SW Missouri is commonly found in these types of stops.

“In Aurora-Marionville, we see a lot of meth, but it’s really geography-based,” said Chief Coatney. “I mean, you, you may you may go to other cities, bigger cities in Missouri and see an increase in things like heroin or things like things like cocaine or, you know, so methamphetamine, methamphetamine just happens to be popular in southwest Missouri.”

Nancy Brown lives in Aurora and says it’s a fantastic idea.

“I’ve been sober for 20 years,” said Brown. “I see the damage that it does to people to families, you know, to neighborhoods, you know, same things with drugs. So it’s like, yeah, there’s a lot of people that don’t know where to go to for help.”

Brown says driving under the influence can change someone’s life forever.

“If you’re lucky, if you’re out there driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, if you’re lucky, you’ll only kill yourself,” said Brown. “But a lot of times, that doesn’t happen. A lot of times it takes innocent people.”

Chief Coatney hopes to get more grants later this year. Those will focus on aggressive driving, texting and driving, and wearing your seatbelt.

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