St. Patrick's Day revelers beware: Kansas City area police will be out in force looking for drunken drivers.
Law enforcement agencies across the Kansas City metro area plan to have extra patrols on Saturday looking for people who are driving drunk.
Olathe police said they have received grants from the Kansas Department of Transportation to fund additional officers on the street looking for impaired drivers. The officers will also be strictly enforcing seat belt law as a way of reducing critical injuries from crashes.
Kansas City police said they will work with the Jackson County Sheriff's Department to conduct numerous saturation patrols in areas known for alcohol-related crashes or arrests.
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Citing numbers from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Kansas City police said that the St. Patrick's Day holiday has become a dangerous one on the nation's roads.
In 2016, nearly 40 percent of fatal crashes involved drunken drivers during the holiday period. The early morning after St. Patrick's Day is especially troublesome with nearly 70 percent of all fatal crashes between midnight and 6 a.m. on March 18 involving drunken drivers.
Drivers also are urged to keep an eye out for pedestrians who might have had too much to drink. People walking while intoxicated could put themselves at risk of being hit by a vehicle, police said.
Other Kansas City area police departments conducting special patrols targeting impaired drivers include Independence, Mission and Overland Park.