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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Chief Chat: Drive sober or get pulled over

  • With prom and graduation season just around the corner, Missouri law enforcement wants to make sure Missouri youth are celebrating safe and sober. The Rolla Police Department will join other Missouri law enforcement agencies to crack down on drunk driving May 2-13.
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  • With prom and graduation season just around the corner, Missouri law enforcement wants to make sure Missouri youth are celebrating safe and sober. The Rolla Police Department will join other Missouri law enforcement agencies to crack down on drunk driving May 2-13.
     
    It is illegal for someone under 21 to possess or consume alcohol in Missouri, yet youth make up a significant proportion of drunk drivers causing traffic crashes on Missouri roadways. Missouri has a Zero Tolerance Law. If you are under 21, your license will be suspended if you’re caught driving with even a trace of alcohol in your system.
    Consequences of drunk driving include jail time, loss of their driver licenses, or being sentenced to use ignition interlocks. Insurance rates go up. Other financial hits include attorney fees, court costs, lost time at work, and the potential loss of job or job prospects. When family, friends and co-workers find out, violators can also face tremendous personal embarrassment and humiliation.
     
    “Driving drunk is simply not worth all the consequences,’ said Sgt. Tim Mayfield. “Zero tolerance means zero chances: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”  Between 2010 and 2012, 77 people were killed and 363 seriously injured in Missouri roadway crashes involving an impaired driver under the age of 21. For more information, please visit www.saveMOlives.com.
    In addition, the Rolla Police Department will be cracking down on impaired drivers by conducting one to two sobriety checkpoints during the month of May Law enforcement efforts will be increased in an endeavor to reduce the deaths and serious injuries caused by impaired drivers. Those caught drinking and driving could lose their license, money, and freedom.
    This past week, The suspect of a weeklong crime wave has been apprehended by the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department and is now in jail. Chad Lange, 38, of Dixon, was arrested at a hotel in Rolla late Friday night, April 26, by sheriff’s deputies from Pulaski County, along with officers from the Rolla Police Department, according to a press release from Pulaski County Sheriff Ron Long. Lange was then taken to Phelps County Regional Medical Center, where he was treated for minor injuries that were sustained prior to being caught. He was released from the hospital after a few hours and was placed in the Pulaski County Jail, awaiting legal proceedings.
    Lange was initially sought by authorities after felony arrest warrants were issued against him for the offenses of auto theft and burglary. Lange was named as a perpetrator in numerous car thefts and burglaries in the Dixon area recently. The Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department committed a large number of full-time and reserve deputies to locate and apprehend Lange. A manhunt began early Thursday evening, April 25, and led law enforcement officials on a countywide search in Pulaski County.
    Page 2 of 2 - Efforts to apprehend Lange intensified after several pursuits with law enforcement, along with Lange being accused of a growing number of crimes. Thursday evening, the search intensified when the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department discovered Lange hiding out in the 15000 Block of Cave Road, just south of Dixon.
     
    A car chase ensued, in which Lange was driving a stolen pickup truck. During the pursuit, Lange, demonstrating a willful disregard for life and property, operated the vehicle in an extremely dangerous manner, Long said. Lange was able to elude law enforcement officials after crashing through a farm gate and driving his four-wheel-drive vehicle up a dilapidated logging trail. The stolen vehicle was later discovered by officers in Lebanon.
    Later sightings by area residents, along with information developed by authorities, led law enforcement officials to the Crocker area. The search for Lange was discontinued in the early morning hours of April 26 after all leads had diminished. Lange was eventually arrested in Rolla after information was developed by the Rolla Police Department Street Crimes Unit and the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Dept.
     
    According to Long, in addition to his warrants for auto theft and burglary, charges are being sought for numerous other felony and misdemeanor crimes Lange is suspected of committing throughout Pulaski and Laclede counties. This investigation also led deputies to other individuals who will have criminal charges filed against them.
    Long thanked the community for their assistance in helping locate and apprehend Lange. He also noted that the pursuit of Lange was a multi-agency endeavor, in which every law enforcement agency in Pulaski County assisted in, including Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers and the patrol’s helicopter.
    Last Saturday, the Rolla Police Department hosted a prescription and over the counter/expired drug take back event at the First Presbyterian Church in Rolla. This was an opportunity for anyone in the community to bring in these types of drug items and have them disposed of safely. According to a report from DEA Agent Scott Collier we took in 328 lbs. of drugs at this event. These items were turned over to the DEA for disposal.
    Have a great week!
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