Holiday Traffic Enforcement Campaign to Start Monday
The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, along with many other law enforcement agencies across the state, including the Kansas Highway Patrol, will be participating in the Kansas Thanksgiving Traffic Enforcement Campaign, from Monday, November 25 through Sunday, December 1. A grant from the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) will underwrite overtime costs associated with this traffic enforcement campaign that will specifically target impaired drivers as well as improperly restrained vehicle occupants.
Surprisingly, the Thanksgiving holiday weekend (Wednesday-Sunday) frequently outranks the other holidays in Kansas in number of driver impairment crashes. Those driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs endanger not only themselves, but also others they share the road with. On average, across Kansas, five persons are killed or injured in alcohol/drug-related crashes each day.
Each week across Kansas, over 250 drivers are arrested for DUI (Driving Under the Influence). A DUI conviction will result in jail time, the suspension or revocation of driver’s license, a fine of $500 to $2,500, participation in an alcohol or other drug treatment program, and the purchase and installation of an ignition interlock device in the offender’s vehicle. This device requires the offender to blow into a device that measures blood alcohol concentration prior to starting the car.
In addition, twice as many Kansans who die from a crash are not wearing their safety belt, compared to those who are restrained. Even worse is the fact that injuries suffered by those who are unbuckled are likely to be much more severe and disabling than those suffered by those who are buckled in. This applies regardless of speed, and whether the occurrence is on city street, county road, or highway.
The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office wants everyone to keep in mind that if you are going to be drinking – any amount at all– don’t consider driving home. Arrange to ride with a non-drinking acquaintance. Don’t let pride or concerns for your convenience endanger your life and the lives of innocent others. Always wear your seatbelt and don’t move until each person riding with you is buckled in. This is your best defense against death and injury, it’s their best defense and it’s the law. You will live with the consequences – good or bad – the rest of your life. It is not uncommon for a belted driver to survive a crash relatively unscathed while an unbelted passenger is killed or seriously injured – perhaps for life. By always following these simple rules, you will preserve life – maybe even yours!”