Beginning Saturday and continuing through Jan. 3, the Parsons Police Department will join other police agencies across the state, including the Kansas Highway Patrol, in the Taking Down DUI traffic enforcement campaign sponsored by the Kansas Department of Transportation.
The winter holidays are upon us, but this holiday is different. The nation is in the middle of a COVID-19 pandemic. While Kansans are all aware of the effects COVID has had on them, the pandemic has taken a toll on roads as well. Vehicle crashes have risen in 2020 in Parsons and across the nation. While traffic volume was reduced by the pandemic, people have driven faster. In many cases alcohol has also been involved.
Marijuana, opioid and alcohol use have increased substantially in general during the pandemic, but also with motor vehicle drivers. These impairing substances have now been identified in nearly 25% of serious and fatal crashes. These crashes do not just impact the impaired driver. These crashes involve others who share the vehicle and road with us: Passengers, other motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians. Impaired driving crashes are preventable.
According to KDOT, in comparison with other holidays, the New Year’s holiday period outranks most other holidays in number of crashes in which at least one of the drivers is impaired by alcohol and/or other drugs. Your choice to drive or to take other safe transportation rests solely with you.
A DUI will change your life forever. A DUI arrest and conviction results in jail time, the suspension or permanent revocation of driver’s license and thousands of dollars for fines, bail, court costs, attorney fees and increased insurance costs.
According to Parsons Police Chief Robert Spinks, “Keep in mind that if you are going to be using any impairing substance, don’t even consider driving. Line up a ride with a sober acquaintance or other safe transportation before you go out. On the drive to zero, you are in the driver’s seat.”