Thanksgiving holiday traffic watch: Choose to arrive safely – Osage County Online | Osage County News

Thanksgiving holiday traffic watch: Choose to arrive safely

For the next week, the Osage County Sheriff’s Office will join many other law enforcement agencies across the state, including the Kansas Highway Patrol, in the Kansas Thanksgiving Safe Arrival traffic enforcement campaign. A grant from Kansas Department of Transportation supports overtime enforcement efforts during the campaign.

While all Kansas traffic laws will be enforced, this extra provision will aggressively target impaired drivers. The campaign begins today, Nov. 20, 2020, and runs through Sunday, Nov. 29.

According to KDOT, 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, including their passengers, other motorists and passengers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Impaired driving crashes tend to be more severe. On average, across Kansas, three persons are injured every day, and one person is killed every four days in alcohol or drug-related crashes. Vehicle occupants in alcohol or other drug-related crashes are over 2.5 times more likely to be injured or killed than those involved in crashes when alcohol or other drugs were not a factor.

Each week across Kansas, more than 250 drivers are arrested for choosing to drive impaired or 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, 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.

Keep in mind that if you are going to be drinking, any amount at all, don’t take the risk and try to drive. Take the safe route and arrange to ride with a non-drinking acquaintance before you go out.

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or both is a choice you make. Make the choice for safe arrival during Thanksgiving holiday week.

Information thanks to the Osage County Sheriff’s Office; KDOT graphic.

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