Police plan special DUI enforcement for so-called '420' holiday

Area police will be out in force today looking for those driving under the influence on what has become a holiday for drug users.

Kansas City police are coordinating with other police departments to saturate the streets looking for those who might be driving under the influence of marijuana. Officers will pay special attention to areas near schools.

“People need to recognize that a DUI is not just from alcohol,” Sgt. Daniel Graves with Kansas City Police Department’s Traffic Investigation Unit said in a release. The day of April 20, known as “420”, has become a day of widespread marijuana use, Graves said.

Graves is hoping the special enforcement will help educate parents about the meaning of “420” and the culture surrounding it.

Last year, Kansas City police arrested 70 people for driving under the influence in cases that involved marijuana or other drug use. That number does not include those who were both drunk and high or those who refused a breath test.

So far this year, there has been five fatality crashes in Kansas City in which drug use was involved.

Jackson, Platte and Clay counties reported 9 people were killed and 40 people suffered disabling injuries in 2007 and 2008 in crashes where a driver was impaired by drugs, including marijuana.

| Robert A. Cronkleton,