PRAIRIE VILLAGE, Kan. — For many people, celebrating the New Year means drinking alcohol, so law enforcement agencies around Kansas want to make sure that doesn't lead to drunk driving.
This week, the state launched its "Taking Down DUI" enforcement campaign.
The Kansas Department of Transportation grants participating agencies money to pay overtime costs to have extra officers on patrol and specifically looking for impaired drivers.
The Kansas Highway Patrol said historically, there are more crashes and more deaths on the roads around New Year's Eve than a typical weekend. Reports show 11 people died in crashes in Kansas around New Year's Day from 2012 to 2017.
The Prairie Village police department is one local agency putting extra officers on the streets this holiday through the “Taking Down DUI” initiative.
“This is all officers being deployed all throughout the city so that we're covering all areas and looking for motorists who are out there showing indicators of impairment and getting them stopped and keeping everyone as safe as a we can,” explained Sgt. Joel Porter.
Porter said he’s worked too many alcohol related crashes to count and each one makes an impact.
“It affects first responders, but we know it goes beyond just us being out on a crash scene, it affects families long term,” Porter pointed out.
The campaign kicked off Dec. 26, 2019 and ends Jan. 1, 2020.
Porter suggests you plan ahead if you think you’ll be drinking alcohol. Designate a sober driver, call a taxi, order a ridesharing service or ask a friend or family member for a ride.