Kentucky law enforcement joins national crackdown to reduce impaired driving fatalities
‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ runs Aug. 13-Sept. 1
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 7, 2014) — If you drink and drive in Fayette County and surrounding counties … beware. The Lexington Police Department, Kentucky State Police and other local law enforcement agencies are joining with the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety (KOHS) and officers across the nation for the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign Aug. 13 to Sept. 1. To kick-off the campaign, a press event was held today at the Embassy Suites in Lexington
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the federal agency that funds the campaign, a person is killed in a drunken-driving crash every 51 minutes. Over the Labor Day weekend, those fatalities increase to one every 34 minutes.
“That is not just a statistic, that’s someone’s parent, child, sibling, neighbor or friend,” KOHS Director Bill Bell said. “If everyone would make the choice to celebrate responsibly and not get behind the wheel after drinking, those people could be with their loved ones today.”
According to NHTSA, high-visibility enforcement such as the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign reduces alcohol-impaired driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent.
“We aggressively enforce impaired driving laws year-round,” KSP Commissioner Rodney Brewer said. “But by joining this effort, we will make Kentucky’s roadways safer for everyone during the heavily-traveled Labor Day holiday.”
In 2013, Kentucky recorded more than 5,500 alcohol-related crashes, resulting in 138 deaths and more than 3,000 injuries. During the Labor Day holiday weekend, eight people were killed and 295 were injured on our roadways. Two of those deaths involved alcohol.
“The message of this year’s “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” high-visibility enforcement campaign says it all: drunken drivers will be caught and arrested,” Attorney General Jack
Conway said. “My office is proud to partner with law enforcement agencies across the Commonwealth on this important initiative. Working together, we can save lives and put an end to the tragedies caused by impaired driving.”
Adding one more tool to combat drinking and driving, Kentucky Office of Highway Safety partnered with Mobile Life Solutions last year to develop a free “Drive Sober Kentucky” application that may be downloaded at www.DriveSoberKY.com.
The app contains phone numbers to taxi and limousine services and sober ride programs, along with a one-touch dial feature to report a drunken driver and information about the designated driver HERO campaign. If a local taxi, limousine or sober ride program would like to participate but is not included in the app, send contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Driving impaired is simply not worth the risk, so don’t take the chance,” Bell said. “Remember police are out in force and if you get caught, you will be arrested. No exceptions. No excuses.”