Beginning Friday and continuing through Sunday, Nov. 29, the Parsons Police Department will join other law enforcement agencies across the state, including the Kansas Highway Patrol, in the Kansas Thanksgiving Safe Arrival traffic enforcement campaign.
A Kansas Department of Transportation grant will support overtime enforcement efforts. While all Kansas traffic laws will be enforced, this extra provision will be targeting impaired drivers.
According to KDOT, the day before Thanksgiving sees more impairment-related crashes than any other day of the year. Those who choose to drive under the influence of alcohol or other drugs are a danger to all they share the road with, their passengers, other motorists and their passengers, bicyclists and pedestrians. Impaired driving crashes tend to be more severe. On average, across Kansas, three persons are injured every day, and one person is killed every four days in alcohol/drug-related crashes. Vehicle occupants in alcohol- or other drug-related crashes are over 2 ½ times more likely to be injured or killed than those involved in crashes where alcohol or other drugs were not a factor.
Each week across Kansas, over 250 drivers are arrested for choosing to drive impaired (driving under the influence). A DUI conviction will result in jail time, the suspension or revocation of a driver’s license, a fine of $500 to $2,500, participation in an alcohol or other drug treatment program and, where alcohol is cited as a contributing factor, the purchase and installation of an ignition interlock device by the offender. This device prevents the vehicle from starting if alcohol is present in the driver’s breath. All of this is in addition to money spent for bail, court costs and attorney fees.
According to Parsons Police Chief Robert Spinks, “Keep in mind that if you are going to be drinking — any amount at all — don’t even consider driving home. Arrange to ride with a non-drinking acquaintance before you go out.”