Police in the Kansas City metro area announced this week they will be looking to prevent alcohol-related crashes on St. Patrick’s Day by having DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols.
The Olathe Police Department said it will have additional officers on duty looking for impaired drivers as part of a saturation patrol funded by grants from the Kansas Department of Transportation.
Officers, as part of ongoing work with the Transportation Department, will also strictly enforce the state’s seat belt laws as a way to reduce critical injuries in crashes.
The Mission Police Department said its officers will have two state-sponsored saturation patrols, one from 7 to 11 p.m. on St. Patrick’s Day and the second from midnight to 4 a.m. Saturday.
Police said the effectiveness of the DUI enforcement not only lies in the fear of being arrested, but also in the number of people who plan ahead to get a safe ride home.
Mission police Chief Ben Hadley encourages people to have a designated driver.
The Overland Park Police Department will have a DUI saturation patrol from 10 p.m. Friday to 2 a.m. Saturday.
Kansas City police announced two sobriety checkpoints this weekend. The first will run from 10 p.m. Friday to 4 a.m. Saturday. The second one will be from 11 p.m. Saturday to 4 a.m. Sunday.
Police did not disclose the location of the checkpoints but said officers would be in areas known for alcohol-related crashes or DUI arrests.
While the checkpoints are operating, police will place signs in advance of the checkpoint and officers will be on the street directing traffic.
Drivers will be directed to an area where an officer can conduct a brief check to determine if the driver should be delayed longer.
The Independence Police Department’s Traffic Safety Unit will have a sobriety on Friday too in an area where alcohol-related arrests and crashes are prevalent.
The Lawrence Police Department will team up with the Douglas County Sheriff’s office, the Kansas Highway Patrol and the University of Kansas Public Safety Office to have a sobriety checkpoint at an undisclosed location in Lawrence.
In addition to detecting and investigating drunken-driving offenses, authorities will use the checkpoint to increase awareness of motorists of the dangers of impaired driving and to deter those who may be impaired from driving.