MANHATTAN — Riley County Police plan to be more vigilant looking for impaired drivers this weekend.
Saturday is April 20, commonly known as a popular day for some to indulge in the use of marijuana. As a result, officers will be looking for signs of impaired driving and other traffic violations. Motorists who show signs of alcohol and/or drug consumption will be evaluated. Confirmed impaired drivers will be arrested.
According to a 2016 AAA poll in Kansas, only 63 percent of people consider driving after using marijuana ‘a very serious threat’ to their personal safety. In 2017, there were 287 crashes attributed to illegal drug use in Kansas. A total of 83 people lost their lives in these crashes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, from 2007-2014, there was a 48 percent increase in drivers testing positive for marijuana across the nation. (Source: Kansas Department of Transportation)
Law enforcement and prosecutors are also be enforcing a “No Refusal Weekend” in which all suspected impaired drivers who refuse a breath test may be subject to blood testing.
The purpose of the program is to place additional officers in and around the Manhattan area with the goal of detecting and deterring impaired driving. The patrol is part of seven saturation patrols being conducted this year. The Kansas Department of Transportation’s Highway Safety Project provides funding for the Saturation Patrol.