Douglas County law enforcement agencies plan to participate in a statewide effort to crack down on drunken driving in the next three weeks.
The Kansas Department of Transportation has announced special funding for overtime to allow sheriff’s offices, police departments and the Kansas Highway Patrol to increase patrols to detect drunken drivers before, during and after Labor Day weekend.
The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and Lawrence Police Department plan to participate in the special enforcement that began Thursday and runs through Sept. 5 in which officers will be on the lookout for impaired drivers, speeding and adult and child restraint violations, said Lt. Gary Bunting, a sheriff’s spokesman.
Also, the sheriff’s office — thanks to a second grant — plans to conduct a saturation patrol targeting drunken drivers in the county from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. Saturday and from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. Sept. 9, Bunting said.
Sgt. Matt Sarna, a Lawrence police spokesman, said the department also plans to conduct a DUI check lane in the city during the evening hours of Aug. 26.
The Kansas Legislature passed legislation that took effect July 1 aimed at increasing penalties for DUI offenders and requiring all first time offenders to use ignition interlock devices.