Sergeant Michael B. Webb
Public Affairs Branch (502) 782-1780
Media Campaign Warns Against Drunk Driving
Labor Day Holiday Weekend Focus of Program
Date of News Release: 08/16/2006
(FRANKFORT, Ky.) - Traffic on the state's roadways is expected to increase significantly during the upcoming Labor Day weekend, which traditionally marks the end of the summer driving season. Motorists in Kentucky should be aware that the Kentucky State Police (KSP) is joining other law enforcement and highway safety agencies across the nation in an aggressive new crackdown on impaired drivers called "Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest."
The enforcement campaign will run from today, Aug. 18, through the Labor Day holiday, which officially ends at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 4.
"We will be out in force conducting sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols and using undercover officers to get more drunk drivers off the road," said John (Jack) Adams, commissioner of the Kentucky State Police. "We want everyone to play it safe and always designate a sober driver or find an alternative method of getting home if they have been out drinking."
Drunk driving is one of America's deadliest crimes. In 2004, nearly 13,000 people were killed in highway crashes involving an impaired driver or motorcycle operator with an illegal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. In Kentucky in 2005, there were 5,515 alcohol-related crashes resulting in 205 fatalities. Through Aug. 13, 2006, a total of 538 people have lost their lives on Kentucky roadways. Alcohol was a factor in 124 of those deaths.
"Driving with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 or higher is illegal," said KSP Capt. Eric Walker, commander of the Governor's Highway Safety Program. "Motorists who choose to drink and drive can face jail time, the loss of their driver's license, higher insurance rates, attorney fees, time away from work and dozens of other expenses - not to mention the risk of killing themselves or someone else."
The Governor's Highway Safety Program gives this advice:
- Be responsible and don't take the risk of driving impaired - 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.
- Always buckle up - it's your best defense against an impaired driver.
- Report impaired drivers to law enforcement.
Citizens can report erratic drivers to the KSP toll-free hotline at 1-800-222-5555 (in the state of Kentucky only, does not work out of state). Callers will remain anonymous and should give a description of the vehicle, location, direction of travel and license number if possible.
The national "Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest." campaign is a comprehensive impaired driving prevention program focused on conducting highly visible law-enforcement-related efforts to deter impaired driving. For more information, visit www.StopImpairedDriving.org.