State police crack down on DUI crashes, drug activity

By: Paige Quiggins Email
By: Paige Quiggins Email

Police are trained to look for suspicious behavior in general and Kentucky State Police officials said they are concerned with more than just those who are speeding on the road.

"I don't think he planned on turning in there, I think he panicked and went into that driveway right there," said Sgt. Steve Walker of the Kentucky State Police.

"They look for a lot of different things, If they smelled marijuana, if the trooper smelled marijuana, or do they smell alcoholic beverage, does the driver look impaired?" said Sgt. Lafe Owens of the Kentucky State Police.

Owens said when they pull people over, even at safety checkpoints, this summer, that training is almost instinct.

"At one stop they seized a couple thousand dollars in money and some crystal methamphetamine," said Owens.
"The driver was under the influence and went to jail for DUI."

KSP joined other law enforcement agencies in a six state initiative to crack down on impaired drivers and drug trafficking in states all along I-75. They said they want to try and combat the number of DUI related crashes as there have been more deaths to date on Kentucky roadways than in previous years to date. State police in London also conducted several drug interdictions this weekend.

Police said that while getting pulled over can be a minor inconvenience to those who might not be causing any harm, it is worth it to catch those who are doing something wrong and put them behind bars.

"That minor inconvenience is just that when you compare it to the good that comes out of arresting a few drunk drivers," said Owens.

Because many accidents involve drivers who are impaired by other substances, police also have to focus on fighting the war on drugs.

"The drug war down here, it's just, it is a daily thing down here," said Walker, referring to a community known as East Bernstadt in Laurel County.

"This area is largely known for drug trafficking and drug use and the abuse of drugs and it is a constant fight to try and combat that."

Police said they are just thinking about those around them.

"There is so much going on, with the travel and the summer, and naturally, people are going to drink and there's drugs out there," said Owens.
"If we can slow that down and stop that to protect mine and your family, that's our number one goal."

This weekend alone in London, state police made 40 DUI arrests, wrote 247 citations, and performed 476 inspections.

KSP joined Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and the West Virginia State Police in the enforcement initiative which began in May of this year. Another weekend this summer will take place later this summer, so police want to remind everyone that they will not tolerate driving under the influence or drug activity.


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