While much media attention has been rightly focused on the dangers posed to motorists by distracted drivers, there is little doubt that impaired drivers remain the most dangerous people behind the wheel. At this time of year, when weather and holiday travel combine to increase risks of motor vehicle crashes that result in injuries and fatalities, it’s good to know that the Missouri State Highway Patrol continues to offer assistance to people whose lives have been affected by impaired drivers.

The Highway Patrol’s Filling a V.O.I.D. (Victims of Impaired Drivers) program has been help victims and their families for 21 years.

Filling a V.O.I.D. provides information, support and assistance, a news source reported. Lieutenant Colonel Eric T. Olson, acting superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, said troopers are often the first on the scene of a drunk driver crash. Each trooper gets specialized training designed to enable them to be of immediate assistance to victims, Olson said.

Highway Patrol officials know that troopers and victim advocates can have a tremendous, positive affect on victims’ recovery. So the goal is to help victims and their families get the assistance they need from organizations around Missouri.

“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,” Olson said. He added that injured pedestrians and their families also qualify for assistance.

Olson said victims of drunk or drugged drivers should contact the Highway Patrol’s civilian victim advocate. They can also call the Crime Victim hotline, he said.

Of course, injury victims should also contact an attorney experienced in personal injury litigation to pursue full compensation for all damages.