Friday, March 16, 2012

Feel like the luck of the Irish is on your side?

You may be wearing green tomorrow and you might even be able to pull off a good Irish brogue, but I wouldn’t go as far as testing out the Irish Luck if you are thinking of drinking and driving or drinking while you are under the age of 21.

Saturday brings us another Saint Patrick’s Day. The day is usually filled with fun and merriment. To some, that means adding alcohol to the mix. Because this kind of celebration can often bring an increase of impaired drivers and underage drinking parties, we will again dedicate teams of officers to the specific goals of DUI enforcement and enforcing laws pertaining to minors and alcohol.

In past years, a four-officer team worked the DUI enforcement assignment. This year we will add an additional four-officer team for a total of eight enforcement officers. Officers will also be out working the Teen Angel program. They will focus their efforts on party calls where minors are reported to be consuming alcohol, drinking establishments that may be serving minors and liquor stores that are selling to minors.

The message seems to be getting out there that alcohol impairs one’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle and minors consuming alcohol is not acceptable. You may ask if the message is getting out there, then why the increased enforcement? My answer is, we’re obviously doing something right and we are going to continue our efforts.

In 2011, there were 152 reported alcohol-related accidents in Overland Park and officers arrested 757 impaired drivers. I will continue to encourage our officers to take enforcement action regarding impaired drivers.

If you choose to drink this weekend, please make the responsible decision and don’t drive.