Kansas launches You drink. You drive. You LOSE. mobilization

TOPEKA — Law enforcement will be working overtime to target impaired drivers across Kansas and the country as part of the annual You drink. You drive. You LOSE. campaign that kicks off today through the Labor Day holiday weekend.

More than 150 law enforcement agencies across Kansas are joining forces to stop drunk driving. Extra enforcement coupled with increased media targeting the perils of drunk driving starts today and runs through Labor Day. Law enforcement will be looking for and pulling over all motorists who show signs of impaired driving.

Labor Day weekend is one of the most dangerous times of the year to be on the road. On average, three people are injured every day in alcohol-related crashes in Kansas. Nationally in 2016, more than one-third of all fatalities over the Labor Day weekend involved a drunk driver with a BAC of .08 or greater.

“Drunk driving is not a victimless crime and is 100 percent preventable,” said Chris Bortz, Kansas Department of Transportation Traffic Safety Program Manager. “Impaired drivers cause 20 to 25 percent of all traffic fatalities. We are driving to zero fatalities in Kansas, and the You drink. You drive. You LOSE. mobilization is one of the many ways we are working to reduce death and injury on Kansas roads.”

In 2017, male drivers accounted for nearly 80 percent of all impaired driving fatalities and 70 percent of all impaired driving injuries in Kansas.

Impaired drivers can face jail time, suspension of their driving privileges, fines and other costs of up to $10,000. Included in this cost, 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.

“Alcohol and driving never mix,” Bortz said. “If you plan on drinking don’t plan on driving.”