Ottawa police join state Thanksgiving campaign

The Herald Staff

State and local law enforcement will target and remove impaired drivers in the Kansas Thanksgiving Safe Arrival traffic enforcement campaign.

The Ottawa Police Department will join the campaign, which runs Saturday through Nov. 29.

A grant from the Kansas Department of Transportation will support overtime enforcement efforts.

KDOT reports the day before Thanksgiving sees more impairment-related crashes than any other day of the year.

Those who choose to drive under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, are a danger to all they share the road with — their passengers, other motorists and their passengers, bicyclists, and pedestrians, law enforcement officials said. Impaired driving crashes tend to be more severe. On average in Kansas, three people are injured every day, and one person is killed every four days in alcohol/drug-related crashes. Vehicle occupants in alcohol- or other drug-related crashes are over 2½ times more likely to be injured or killed than those involved in crashes where alcohol or other drugs were not a factor.

A DUI conviction will result in jail time, the suspension or revocation of a driver’s license, a fine of $500 to $2,500, participation in an alcohol or other drug treatment program and, where alcohol is cited as a contributing factor, the purchase and installation of an ignition interlock device by the offender. This device prevents the vehicle from starting if alcohol is present in the driver’s breath. All of this is in addition to thousands of dollars more for bail, court costs and attorney fees.

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or both is a choice, law enforcement officials said. They encourage people to make the right decision and designate a sober driver.