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Lack of funding for DUI checkpoints in Kansas City raises concerns

Published On: 06-02-2017 in Category: addiction, drug abuse

The fight against impaired driving has been hit hard in Kansas City due to the absence of funds after the Missouri state legislature voted to cut off funding from the initiative of organizing routine DUI checkpoints. The DUI checkpoints planned by the police across the city in May have been canceled until the fiscal year that ends in October 2017. Organizing DUI checkpoints has been a huge success in curbing drunk driving across the region.

According to media reports, in 2016 alone, DUI checkpoints led to 296 arrests in Kansas City. Moreover, checkpoints promoted by the media on St. Patrick’s Day this year in Kansas City led to around 40 arrests. “If we got 41 with all the media attention that we put on it – imagine how many folks would have been out there if they knew we weren’t doing checkpoints,” said Sergeant Christopher Bentch, DUI saturation supervisor for Kansas City Police Department (KCPD).

Individuals who insist on tougher laws and penalties for DUI cases are not pleased with this sudden move. “I lost my father on a Missouri roadway by a repeat drunk driver and I got involved with MADD,” said Le Anne Lewis, president of the Heartland Chapter of MADD – Mothers Against Drunk Driving. “Right now we are asking Eric Greitens, Governor of Missouri, to please restore the funding for sobriety checkpoints,” she added.

However, some residents in Kansas City believe frequent checkpoints are an infringement upon their rights as citizens. The KCPD has countered such arguments, saying checkpoints are a minor inconvenience that eventually keeps a check on drunk driving on the streets.

Alcohol is a major threat to public health

According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD), alcohol and drugs are implicated in about 80 percent of offenses leading to crimes, such as domestic violence, driving while intoxicated and drug offenses, among others. Being a socially and legally accepted substance, alcohol plays a vital role in linking crime to other social problems. The headcount in prisons nationwide has swollen beyond capacity, largely because of substance abuse. Nearly 50 percent of jail and prison inmates are victims of clinical addiction, whereas about 60 percent of offenders arrested for most types of crimes test positive for illicit drugs at the time of arrest. Above all, due to the ease of availability, alcohol is said to be the main drug abused by offenders in all cases of murder, rape, assault, child and spousal or partner abuse.

Individuals with alcoholism never see addiction coming. It sneaks up on them after a while. Recreational drinking can get some people addicted, while others may get trapped by accident. Depending on an individual’s tolerance level, it may take one week to several months for addiction to penetrate its roots. In reality, addiction is a stealthy ambush predator that catches the drinker totally unawares.

Seeking recovery from alcoholism

It is alarming to note that a large number of people indulge in heavy drinking, believing that it is absolutely safe. If you or your loved one is battling addiction to alcohol or any other substance, seek treatment immediately. The Kansas City Drug Treatment and Rehab Center can help you get one of the best addiction treatment programs and embrace sobriety. You may call at our 24/7 helpline number 816-399-2323 for more information on different treatment options in your vicinity.

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