Sergeant Michael B. Webb
Kentucky State Police
Public Affairs Branch
Office (502) 782-1780
Media Campaign Educates Motorists - You Drink & Drive. You Lose!
Date of Release: 08/18/05
FRANKFORT, KY - Law enforcement will be working overtime this Labor Day weekend to crack down on drunk drivers. The campaign actually begins Aug. 19 and continues through the Labor Day holiday.
"With more people expected to be traveling on Kentucky roadways this Labor Day holiday, law enforcement will be out in full force to assist and protect citizens," Commissioner Mark Miller of Kentucky State Police announced today at a press conference at the Kentucky State Fair. "Our message is simple - You Drink & Drive. You Lose," said Miller. "We encourage anyone planning on drinking alcohol to be responsible and designate a sober driver. With checkpoints, roving patrols, undercover officers and concerned citizens, chances are if you drive impaired this holiday, you will be arrested."
Impaired driving is one of America's most-often-committed and deadliest crimes. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Uniform Crime Report, more than 1.4 million people nationwide were arrested in 2003 for driving under the influence. Statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for 2003 show that more than 13,000 people died in highway crashes involving a driver with an illegal blood-alcohol concentration level of 0.08 or higher.
"Driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 is illegal," said Lt. Eric Walker, commander of the Governor's Highway Safety Program. "If they choose to drink and drive, violators will be spending their money on bail, court costs, lawyers and towing fees instead of enjoying the last days of their summer vacations." In 2004, in Kentucky, there were 5,645 alcohol-related crashes in which 199 people were killed. This number represents a 12% increase in alcohol-related fatalities from the previous year.
The Kentucky Governor's Highway Safety Program began airing new commercials statewide last Monday featuring six Kentucky law enforcement officers relating their personal motivation for getting impaired drivers off of our roads. The ads will run in targeted markets where statistics show there are high rates of alcohol-related crashes. The national impaired-driving crackdown is complemented by a $13.9 million national advertising campaign that puts drivers on notice that if they drive impaired, they will be caught and prosecuted.
Studies from NHTSA show that Americans support tougher enforcement and consider drunk driving an important social issue, ahead of health care, poverty, the environment and gun control. Nearly 97 percent of Americans view drinking and driving by others as a threat to their families and themselves. The majority of Americans also support increased enforcement efforts like sobriety checkpoints to protect innocent victims from impaired drivers.
The Governor's Highway Safety Program reminds everyone:
- Be responsible and don't risk it ... you will be caught.
- If you plan to drink, choose a designated driver before going out.
- Take mass transit, a taxicab, or ask a sober friend to drive you home.
- Spend the night where the activity is being held.
- Report impaired drivers to law enforcement.
- Always buckle up - it's your best defense against an impaired driver.
The You Drink & Drive. You Lose National Crackdown, first launched in December 1999, is a comprehensive impaired-driving prevention effort focused on conducting highly visible law-enforcement-related efforts to deter impaired driving. For more information about the campaign, visit www.StopImpairedDriving.org.