Sergeant Michael B. Webb
Kentucky State Police
Public Affairs Branch
Office (502) 782-1780
KSP Targeting Impaired Drivers to Save Lives
During the Holiday Season
(FRANKFORT, KY) -Motorists traveling Kentucky´s roadways this holiday season are going to be seeing a lot of gray. Gray police cruisers and gray uniforms of the Kentucky State Police, that is.
The Kentucky State Police will be beefing up their presence on highways throughout the state in effort to save lives.
Beginning at 6:00 P.M. on Wednesday, Dec. 24 and continuing through 11:59 P.M. on Sunday, Dec. 28, KSP will be out in force conducting four days of saturation patrols and traffic safety checkpoints at strategic, high-risk locations. Their mission: removing impaired drivers from the roads before they kill themselves and others.
"Kentucky has a no tolerance stance when it comes to impaired driving," says KSP Commissioner Patrick N. Simpson. "There will be no warnings or second chances. Impairment begins with the first alcoholic drink. Operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .08 can result in immediate arrest even for a first offense."
During 2003, 900 people have died on Kentucky´s roadways as a result of vehicle crashes. That´s 12 more than last year at this time. Two people were killed in two separate crashes during last year´s two-day Christmas holiday period. One of those crashes involved alcohol. With a four-day Christmas holiday period this year, the potential danger is doubled. Consequently, KSP´s 950 troopers, in conjunction with local police and sheriff´s offices, will be using all possible resources in their enforcement efforts including video, radar, unmarked vehicles and passive alcohol sensors.
As part of their enforcement efforts, KSP will be participating in Operation C.A.R.E. (Combined Accident Reduction Effort), a nationwide program aimed at reducing crashes on interstate highways and parkways.
To maximize their visibility, standard KSP vehicles will be using daytime running lights during the enforcement period. In addition to impaired drivers, troopers will be targeting seat belt violations, including child safety seat regulations, and speed violations.
Anyone can help save lives during the holidays by reporting suspected impaired drivers to KSP toll free at 1-800-222-5555 (in the state of Kentucky only, does not work out of state). Caller identification is not required, but direction of travel, suspected vehicle description and license number is helpful.
"Citizens shouldn´t be shy about reporting erratic drivers to law enforcement," explains Sgt. Phil Crumpton, of the Kentucky State Police Community Relations Branch. "It often just results in a courtesy stop of a tired or drowsy driver and directions on where they can get a cup of coffee or pull over to rest. However, it could save the life of a friend or loved one. It´s an act that just might make a real difference."
Simpson sums up the matter in simple terms. "Impaired driving is against the law, period," he says. "It´s a violent act that has criminal repercussions including fines, loss of license and incarceration. Don´t take the risk. It´s not worth it."