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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Local law enforcement watchful for drunk drivers on NYE

  • As local residents celebrate the new year tonight, law enforcement agencies will eye the streets and roadways for intoxicated drivers.
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    • Potential penalties for a DUI:
      What can happen if a person is convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs?

      Leavenworth County Attorney Todd Thompson said a first-time DUI conviction can re...
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      Potential penalties for a DUI:
      What can happen if a person is convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs?

      Leavenworth County Attorney Todd Thompson said a first-time DUI conviction can result in a maximum jail sentence of six months, and a person will have to spend at least 48 hours in jail.

      If the driver has a passenger under the age of 14 at the time of the DUI, a mandatory 30 days is added to the minimum sentence, he said.

      The minimum fine for a first-time DUI conviction is $750. The maximum fine is $1,000.
  • As local residents celebrate the new year tonight, law enforcement agencies will eye the streets and roadways for intoxicated drivers.
    The Leavenworth Police Department will follow its usual practice of having additional officers on duty assigned to stop drivers who are under the influence of alcohol, Traffic Sgt. Ralph Sorrell said.
    Undersheriff Jim Sherley said the Leavenworth County Sheriff's Office also will augment its patrol with officers who will be dedicated to keeping an eye out for drunk drivers.
    Sherley said the Sheriff's Office historically has seen a spike in DUIs around the holidays, culminating with New Year's Eve.
    "This is an avoidable act if people utilize designated drivers," he said.
    Sorrell said Leavenworth officers also typically make DUI arrests during the New Year's holiday.
    During the regular year, he said DUIs normally happen between 1:30 and 3 a.m.,, as bars close at 2 a.m.
    But on New Year's Eve, he said, DUI incidents are more prevalent between 3 and 6 a.m. as people stay longer at parties.
    Sorrell said there are some cases in which people know they've had too much to drink and shouldn't drive, so they take a nap before heading home. However, sleep doesn't necessarily bring sobriety, he added.
    "They still will be intoxicated in the morning," he said.
    After a person drinks excessively, "it takes some time for the body to get rid of all that alcohol," he added.
    Sorrell recommended using a designated driver or arranging to spend the night at a hotel.
    "Make it a whole evening," he said.
    Lansing Police Chief Steve Wayman said New Year's Eve has been relatively quiet in Lansing in years past, but "you still have your partygoers."
    He said the Lansing Police Department has its share of alcohol-related crimes during the New Year's holiday, including fights, domestic battery and DUIs.
    Wayman also recommended using designated drivers or other alternatives for getting home, such as taxis and tow services.

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