The Mission Police Department is one of the nearly 150 local and state police agencies across Kansas that are participating in a crackdown aimed at removing drunk, drugged and other dangerous drivers from the roadways.
The campaign, underwritten by the Kansas Department of Transportation is branded as “You Drink. You Drive. You Lose.” It will run from now until Sept. 7.
Kansas averages four persons injured each day and one person killed every three days in an impairment-related crash. A crash with alcohol or drugs involved, according to KDOT, increases the likelihood of being injured by two times and of being killed or seriously injured by six times over a crash without alcohol or drugs as a factor.
Mission Police Chief Ben Hadley issued the following statement:
“First, if you’re going to drink while away from home, do it responsibly by planning ahead and lining up someone who is not going to be drinking to get you back home. Don’t make the mistake of waiting until it’s time to go home to start asking around. Chances are, if you do that, you will wind up with someone who says, ‘Sure, I’m sober!’ but who may not be.”
“Second, picture families you know, and then consider how it would be to wake up every day to the memory of your decision to drive after drinking – a decision which unintentionally brought injury or death to one of them.”
“Third, we can pull you over for any number of driving infractions and mechanical deficiencies. If we do and we detect a hint of alcohol you will be tested. If you fail the test; you’re looking at a fine of $500-$2,500; up to one year in jail; the suspension, or even permanent loss, of your driver’s license; and the installation of an ignition interlock device in your car. Imagine not being able to start your car without blowing into the interlock’s alcohol sensor several times during an afternoon’s errands. Don’t take the chance; it’s not worth it.”
“Fourth, we need everyone to be our eyes on the road. If you see suspicious driving behaviors take note of location, direction and the vehicle’s description, and call 911 as soon as it’s safe to do so. You may save a life.”
“Fifth, you can count on this department to vigorously enforce impaired driving laws – not just during this campaign, but all year long.”
“Finally, always remember that the best protection against a drunk driver (even when it’s yourself) is the use of seat belts and appropriate child restraints – every trip, every time. They save lives and reduce injury severity.”