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Law Enforcement cracking down on impaired driving over 420 weekend

Police increasing patrols for pot smokers weekend

KS 420 Crackdown
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KS 420 Cracldown

WILSON COUNTY, Kan. - Wilson County deputies patrol for speeders on Highway 400 every day. 

But Friday night -- they will be on the lookout for something different. 

Drivers who are under the influence of drugs and alcohol for 420 weekend. 

April 20th, or 420, is the un-official holiday for the consumption of marijuana.

Pete Figgins, Wilson County Sheriff:"Statistically, there is approximately a nineteen to twenty percent increase of arrests made due to this celebration."

Wilson County will have two extra deputies on duty with the specific job of looking for those under the influence Friday night through early Sunday morning.  

Robert Spinks, Parsons Police Chief:"I would anticipate that we will have at least five officers on throughout the weekend."

Parsons Police Chief Robert Spinks says they will also be on the lookout for drivers under the influence.

He says those who are suspected of driving under the influence that refuse a breath or field sobriety test may be subject to a blood test. 

Spinks:"We are giving the best odds to the driver to make sure that we're making a good sound decision about their level of impairment."

A 2016 poll by AAA shows 63-percent of people don't consider driving under the influence of marijuana "a very serious threat." 

But Figgins says it's illegal for a reason. 

Figgins:"It's not acceptable to say it's okay to drive. Law enforcement takes a very dim view on that, and we'll totally focus and give every effort that we can to diminish that."

Figgins says historically they haven't seen a large increase in drivers who are under the influence of drugs over the 420 weekend.. but there has been a recent increase in the county over all. 

Figgins:"It is increasing every year. We do see that people are becoming more acceptable to drug use, even though it's illegal. We also want to remind people even though using marijuana may be legal in other states, it illegal in Kansas, and in Wilson County."

Spinks and Figgins encourage anyone who sees a driver who may be under the influence over the weekend to call 911. 

In 2017, there were *287* crashes attributed to illegal drug use in Kansas. 

83 people died in those crashes. 

Law enforcement in Missouri is also increasing patrols over the weekend. 
 


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