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Monday, August 15, 2011

Shawnee Police announce DUI Crackdown

The Shawnee Police Department is warning drivers of an upcoming DUI Crackdown for August 18th through Labor Day, September 5th. There will be additional enforcement of Kansas drunk driving and other traffic laws as 150 local agencies and the Kansas Highway Patrol all participate in the crackdown. The effort is aimed at educating about impaired driving and removing impaired drivers from Kansas roadways.

Known as "Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest." the crackdown is underwritten by a grant from the Kansas Department of Transportation.

Each day, 61 people are injured and 3 people are killed on Kansas roads in alcohol-related crashes. According to KDOT, if you are involved in an alcohol-related-crash, in any capacity, you are two and one half times more likely to be injured and four and one half times more likely to be seriously injured or killed than you are involved in a crash where alcohol is not determined to be a factor. The ratio of death to injury in alcohol-related crashes is nearly four times higher than the death to injury ratio for non-alcohol related crashes.

According to Sergeant Jim Baker, the enforcement effort should remind drivers of several things:

If you're going to drink when away from home do it responsibly by planning ahead and lining someone up who is not going to be drinking to get you home. Don't wait until it's time to go home to ask. Chances are, if you do that, you will wind up with a driver who thinks he's sober enough to be driving, but may not be.

Picture families you know, and then consider how it would be to wake up every day to the memory of your decision to drive after drinking – just innocently having fun – which brought injury or death to one of them.

There are any number of traffic infractions and mechanical deficiencies we can use to pull you over even if you have not crashed or are not driving erratically. If we do and we detect a hint of alcohol you will be tested. If you fail the test you’re looking at a fine of $750 - $2,500, up to one year in jail, the suspension or even permanent loss of your driver’s license, and the installation of an ignition interlock device in your car. Imagine not being able to start your car without blowing into the interlock’s alcohol sensor several times during an afternoon’s errands. Don’t take the chance.

If you see suspicious driving behaviors, take note of location and direction, as well as the vehicle description, and call 911.

You can expect this department to enforce impaired driving laws all year-round.

Finally, always remember that everyone’s best protection against a drunk driver (even themselves) is to always wear their seat belt and properly restrain their children – every trip, every time. It saves lives and it’s the law.

All information provided by the Shawnee Police Department.
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