HIghway fatality rate up slightly in 2012

With a busy holiday travel weekend ahead, MoDOT is ramping up it's annual safety campaign.

Earlier this spring, traffic fatalities were up 41 percent compared to 2011,

As the year is ending, MoDOT says the numbers are getting better, fatalities are now up only about three percent.

MoDOT credits their "Click-it-or-Ticket" campaign.

During one seven day campaign, they netted about 900 DWI arrests at 60 sobriety checkpoints throughout the state, Leanna Depue, MoDOT Highway Safety Director said, "we are targeting bars around the state and putting up posters, we're also putting out coasters. We want in front of them, the message that they need to be responsible."

Depue hopes people will think twice before drinking and driving this holiday season.

Lepue said riding with an impaired driver just isn't worth it, the consequences are real and serious, "Earlier in the year we were at a 41 percent increase of fatalities over last year, however as the summer months came, and major campaigns kicked off, our "Click-it-or-Ticket" campaign which is focusing on an increased in safety belt use, we did see the numbers level off."

If you cause a fatal crash while intoxicated you could be charged with involuntary manslaughter and face up to seven years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Just for your first offense of driving impaired you could have your license suspended for up to 90 days, be fined $500, and be sentenced to six months in prison.