Kansas law enforcement crack down on impaired drivers

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Law enforcement agencies across Kansas will join forces beginning this week to keep the roads safe from impaired drivers. 

The state Department of Transportation said in a news release that more than 150 law enforcement agencies will take part in the "You Drink. You Drive You Lose." campaign. It begins Thursday and runs through Labor Day, September 2.

The enforcement effort includes "No Refusal Weekend," which is this weekend. KDOT says all suspected impaired drivers who refuse breath testing on August 16 and 17 may be subject to blood testing for alcohol and/or drugs.

"My hope is there are no impaired driving crashes or fatalities in the state of Kansas,” said Kansas Highway Patrol Superintendent Herman Jones. "Make the right decision, don’t get behind the wheel impaired. The impaired driver makes the choice to endanger themselves and everyone else on the road."

According to the National Safety Council, 40% of car fatalities occur in the summer months.

KDOT says the Labor Day holiday brings increased traffic and a "higher-than-normal number of deaths related to impaired drivers on the road."

"We want everyone’s summer to end on high note and not in a senseless death that is 100 percent preventable," said Chris Bortz, Kansas Department of Transportation Traffic Safety Program Manager. "Law enforcement will be vigilant in their efforts to keep everyone safe, but everyone has a personal responsibility in this effort; not just law enforcement."

KDOT advised drivers to designate before you celebrate, use a ride sharing service or get a ride from a sober friend.

"Impaired drivers can face jail time, suspension of their driving privileges, fines and other costs of up to $10,000. In addition, the offender will be required to install and pay monthly services fees on an ignition interlock. Beyond the financial and legal penalties, impaired drivers face the risk of losing their own lives or taking someone else’s."

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