A mobilization of over 150 law enforcement agencies across Kansas, including the Salina Police Department and Saline County Sheriff’s Office, culminates this weekend. The “You Drink, You Drive, You Lose” effort began back on August 14th and runs through Labor Day weekend.
Extra officers are on patrol, specifically looking for impaired drivers.
According to the National Safety Council, 40 percent of car fatalities occur in the summer months. The Labor Day holiday brings increased traffic and unfortunately, a higher-than-normal number of deaths related to impaired drivers on the road. On average, impaired drivers cause about one-third of all traffic fatalities in Kansas. Across Kansas, impaired drivers injure or kill more than 2,200 people each year in car crashes.
This campaign is intended to remind drivers of several things:
1. If you’re going to drink while away, do it responsibly by looking ahead and lining up a designated driver before leaving your home. Don’t make the mistake of waiting until it’s time to return home to start asking around. Chances are, if you do that you’ll wind up with someone who might appear to be more sober than yourself, but isn’t sober enough.
2. Check your medications for driving warnings. More and more, in Kansas, DUI arrests are occurring during daytime hours, largely due to the side effects of prescription drugs. It’s not uncommon to find alcohol or illicit drugs present as well.
3. Think of a family you know – maybe your own – and consider how it would be to wake up every day to the memory of your decision to drive after drinking – a decision which unintentionally brought injury or death to one of them. If you’re driving impaired, you are not only more likely to crash, but you are much more likely to cause serious injury or death to yourself and others when you do crash.
4. A DUI arrest can cost you thousands and will result in the installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. Imagine not being able to start your car without blowing into the interlock’s alcohol sensor several times during an afternoon’s errands.
5. We are asking all citizens on the roadways – drivers and passengers, alike – to watch for suspicious driving behaviors. Note location, a description of the suspect vehicle, and its direction of travel and call 911 as soon as it’s safe to do so. You may save a life.
6. You can count on this department to vigorously enforce impaired driving and other traffic laws, not just during this campaign but through the year.
7. Always remember that the best protection against an impaired driver (even when it’s yourself) is the use of seat belts and appropriate child restraints – every trip, every time. Restraints save lives and reduce injury severity across a wide range of driving mistakes and mishaps.