The Missouri State Highway Patrol is reminding the public of available resources for those whose lives have been impacted by an impaired driver.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol says they offer assistance to victims of impaired drivers through its Filling a V.O.I.D. program.

Filling a V.O.I.D. provides information, support, and assistance to victims and their families and has been offered since 1997. The Patrol says that troopers who work the road are often the first persons to encounter victims. Every trooper reportedly receives specialized training while attending the Patrol’s Law Enforcement Academy.

Each patrol 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.

The Patrol says "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. Eric T. 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, you can 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 advocates can help you understand the criminal justice process, address your concerns, and request information. More information can also be found by calling the Crime Victim Hotline at 1-888-773-1800.

Preliminary statistics show there have been 4,085 traffic crashes involving impaired drivers in 2018. In those crashes, 137 people died and 2,301 people were injured.

Randy Kirby