Labor Day warning: Drive sober or get pulled over – Osage County Online | Osage County News

Labor Day warning: Drive sober or get pulled over

If you feel different, you drive different. Drive high, get a DUI.

Summer may be coming to an end, but there’s no end in sight to law enforcement’s crackdown on impaired driving. This Labor Day holiday, the Kansas Department of Transportation urges drivers to think twice before driving drunk or high.

Enforcement for the national impaired driving campaign, “If You Feel Different, You Drive Different. Drive High, Get a DUI,” is running now through Sept. 5, 2023. KDOT is working to reduce sobering statistics involving driving drunk or high.

During August and September of 2021 in Kansas, there were 19 total fatal crashes of impaired driving, according to KDOT stats.

“It doesn’t matter what term you use,” said Gary Herman, KDOT Behavioral Safety Manager. “If you feel different, you drive different – an impaired person should never get behind the wheel.”

Nationally, about 37 people die in drunk-driving crashes each day – that’s one person every 39 minutes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In 2021, 13,384 people died in alcohol-impaired driving traffic deaths – a 14 percent increase from 2020.

“The bottom line is that no matter what the substance is, if you are impaired, you should not be driving,” Herman said. “The consequences are real and cannot be undone. Play it safe.”

Like drunk driving, drug-impaired driving is illegal nationwide. NHTSA states that drugs can impair a driver’s coordination, judgment and reaction times, make drivers more aggressive and reckless, and cause extreme drowsiness, dizziness and other side effects.

If convicted for impaired driving, drivers face stiff penalties, hefty financial consequences, and jail time. Bottom line – don’t drive impaired. Designate a sober driver, take public transportation, or stay home.

For more information about impaired driving, see www.KTSRO.org.

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