PITTSBURG, Kan. — Beginning Dec. 26 and continuing through Jan. 3, the Pittsburg Police Department will join many other law enforcement agencies statewide, including the Kansas Highway Patrol, in the Taking Down DUI traffic enforcement campaign, which is facilitated through a Kansas Department of Transportation grant, the PPD announced Friday.
“The winter holidays are upon us, but this winter holiday is different due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the PPD said in a press release. “While we are all aware of the effects COVID-19 had on us, it has had a dramatic and devastating effect on our roads as well. Marijuana, opioids and alcohol use have increased substantially during the pandemic. These impairing substances have been identified in nearly 25% of serious and fatal car crashes.”
According to KDOT, the release said, the New Year’s Holiday period outranks most other holidays in involving at least one impaired driver.
“Keep in mind that if you are going to be using ANY impairing substance — don’t even consider driving,” Pittsburg Police Chief Brent Narges said. “Line up a ride with a sober acquaintance or other safe transportation BEFORE you go out.”
The public can also help during the campaign by watching out for indicators of possible impaired driving and then reporting the offense by calling 911 as soon as it is safe to do so, the release said.