JEFFERSON COUNTY, Mo. (KSDK) - New Year's Eve is always one of the busiest nights for DWI cases. That's why Jefferson County Sheriff's deputies began DWI patrols early on Tuesday.

The unincorporated parts of Jefferson County have some of the highest DWI rates in the state. And deputies know the roads will be full of impaired drivers after the clock strikes midnight.

"If you drive over an interstate after midnight chances are you're going to encounter an impaired driver. They're astronomically higher tonight than a regular Tuesday evening," Corporal Tim Whitney said.

Whitney has been in law enforcement for more than 12 years and knows New Year's Eve can bring out some of the most dangerously impaired drivers.

"Some of the people we're talking about aren't able to function. These are people that cannot stand up unassisted. When you talk to them they can't find their drivers license. They're handing you their credit card because of the confusion they're under and yet they're willing to drive."

The department's DWI enforcement team along with the rest of the department's traffic division will spend hours combing the county for drivers who shouldn't be on the road. And as a father and husband, Whitney says families that are going out should consider making it an early night.

"Knowing how many intoxicated drivers are really out there late at night I'm going to have a hard time ever allowing my children or even my wife to drive that late at night just because I know the dangers that really exist there."