McPherson County residents will see more deputies out on the road than usual during the span of Aug. 16 through Labor Day weekend, Sept. 3, thanks to the “You Drink. You Drive. You Lose.” Kansas Department of Transportation campaign.
Alcohol and other drugs were implicated in 40 percent of the crash deaths on Kansas roads this past year, according to KDOT.
McPherson County Sheriff, Jerry Montagne, said they (the sheriffs office) will be “very vigilant” during this time along with 150 other law enforcement agencies in the state.
“There will be no toleration when it comes to drinking and driving from the sheriff’s office, we will be out there and very alert,” Montagne said.
“We don’t want to have to arrest people for impaired driving. We would rather (they) get a designated driver and just not do it,” said Deputy Jared Kaufman.
Kaufman said they will be out on patrol around the hours of 9 p.m. through 2 a.m. in McPherson County and will be pulling drivers over for any violations they see during see during this time.
“Some things we will be on the lookout for are people not maintaining lane of travel, no headlights, weaving within their lanes. We’re just going to stop anyone we can that gives us a red flag that may be impaired to get them off the road,” Kaufman said.
Montagne said he wants to remind drivers of several things:
— 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.
— Check your medications for driving warnings. More and more, in Kansas, DUI arrests are occurring during daytime hours, largely because of the side effects of prescription drugs.
— Think of a family you know – maybe your own – and consider how it would be to wake up every day with 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.
— 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.
— 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.
— You can count on this department to vigorously enforce impaired driving and other traffic laws, not just during this campaign but through the year.
— 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.