If alcohol is included in your New Year’s Eve celebration plans, local and state law enforcement personnel encourage you to celebrate responsibly.
The Salina Police Department will have extra officers on the street tonight, just as they have since Wednesday, thanks to a grant for the Taking Down DUI — New Year’s campaign, according to Sergeant Brent Rupert.
Rupert said officers will be enforcing all traffic laws, but will especially be looking for drivers under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
Additionally, the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) reports that more than 150 Kansas law enforcement agencies will be extra vigilant to spot impaired drivers as part of the national enforcement campaign that concludes with the new year.
“The period between Christmas and New Year’s Day is one of the most dangerous times of the year to be on the road,” said Chris Bortz, KDOT’s Traffic Safety Program Manager. “Too often while celebrating over the holidays impaired drivers get behind the wheel, and it’s never OK to drive impaired.”
In 2017, approximately 17 percent of crashes over the holiday week were alcohol-related. Drug-impaired driving has become a growing threat on roads across the nation. From 2007 to 2015, marijuana usage doubled among drivers killed in crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Kansas law enforcement want to remind drivers that if you drive drunk or high, you will get a DUI.
Impaired drivers can face jail time, suspension of their driving privileges, fines and other costs of up to $10,000. Included in this cost, the offender will be required to install and pay monthly services fees on an ignition interlock. Beyond the financial and legal penalties, impaired drivers face the risk of losing their own lives or taking someone else’s.