Archive for Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Grant to help police with Labor Day Weekend

August 15, 2012

The Baldwin City Police Department is joining other law enforcement agencies in the state in a crackdown on drunk driving around the Labor Day Weekend.

Baldwin City Police Chief Greg Neis said the department would have added patrolmen on the streets from Aug. 16 through Sept. 3. The officers will enforce all traffic violations but particular attention will be given to impaired driving as local officers join those from about 150 other departments around the state in the “You Drink, You Drive, You Lose” campaign.

A Kansas Department of Transportation grant is funding the campaign, which will reimburse the Baldwin City Police Department for overtime paid to put added officers on the street. The department participated in a similar campaign during a two-week span around Memorial Day, which focused on enforcing seat belt laws.

Neis said KDOT statistics show accidents involving alcohol were 2.5 times as likely to cause injury and 4.5 times as likely to cause serious injury or death than those in which alcohol was not a factor.

Neis asked residents to use designated drivers or make other arrangements that kept them from getting behind the wheel if they were going to drink. Such a simple precaution could save the person’s life, prevent a lifetime of remorse or a costly fine and jail time, he said.

“We can pull you over for any number of traffic infractions and mechanical deficiencies,” Neis said. “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 to $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.”

Neis said residents could assist the department with keeping impaired drivers off the road by calling 911 when they see a motorist driving erratically.

“You can expect this department to enforce impaired driving laws, during this campaign and all year long,” the chief said. “Finally, always remember that the best protection against a drunk driver (even themselves) is the use of seat belts and appropriate child restraints — every trip, every time.  They save lives and reduce serious injury every day, and it’s the law.”

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