Riley County Police Department campaigns to end drunk driving

The Riley County Law Enforcement Center. (Archive photo by Rachel Kamm | Collegian Media Group)

The Riley County Police Department is participating in a statewide campaign titled “You drink. You drive. You lose.” to end drunk driving, running from Aug. 19 through Labor Day weekend. 

Aaron Wintermote, public information officer for RCPD, said the campaign is funded by the Kansas Department of Transportation through a grant. 

“The money from that grant allows us to have higher staffing levels during that period of time, and that extra staff focuses directly on impaired driving,” Wintermote said.

Wintermote said choosing to drive drunk affects multiple people. 

“Drunk driving is very dangerous, not only for you, but for others on the road,” Wintermote said. “If you do get involved in a crash, you are endangering not only your life, but somebody else’s as well. It’s one of those things that we always discourage. We want sober drivers on our roadways.”

Virginia Hale, junior in communications, said she is firmly against impaired driving. 

“People need to realize the severity of their actions,” Hale said. “You think that it’s not going to be you who gets in a wreck or causes one, but would you take that chance and risk not sobering up only to find you killed someone’s child? Your friend? A parent?”

Not only is driving impaired dangerous, but it’s also expensive, Wintermote said. 

“There are mandatory processes that you have to attend along with having your driver’s license suspended,” Wintermote said. 

According to KDOT, a first DUI offense will receive either 48 hours of mandatory imprisonment or 100 hours of community service. The person must also complete a court-ordered alcohol and drug safety program at their own expense. Additionally, there will be a fine between $500 and $1000 along with court costs, probation and evaluation fees. The driver’s license will be suspended for 30 days and restricted for an extra 330 days. To learn more, visit

Ben Waymire, sophomore in athletic training and rehabilitation science, said he’s optimistic RCPD’s campaign will decrease drunk driving. 

“Manhattan is a great town with a great community,” Waymire said. “Any campaign dedicated to keeping it a safe place for all the great people here is something I can definitely get behind.”