Sergeant Michael B. Webb
Kentucky State Police
Public Affairs Branch
Office (502) 782-1780
Super Bowl Festivities Increase Dangers On Roadways
Date of News Release: 01/25/2007
(FRANKFORT, KY) - The Kentucky State Police, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and law enforcement agencies throughout the Commonwealth are joining together to remind sports fans to play it safe during this year's Super Bowl weekend of Feb. 3-4.
"The Super Bowl, and all the celebrations surrounding it, has become one of the nation's biggest and most entertaining sporting events," says KSP Commissioner Jack Adams. "Unfortunately, it is also one of the most dangerous times to be on the roadways due to drivers impaired by alcohol."
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that, during recent years, almost 50 percent of all traffic fatalities during the Super Bowl weekend were caused by drivers impaired by alcohol. In 2006, there were 51 total crashes that involved the use of alcohol in Kentucky during the Super Bowl weekend. One person was killed and 44 were injured. In 2005, there were 44 alcohol-related crashes in the state during the game weekend resulting in three deaths and 37 people injured.
"If consuming alcohol is part of your Super Bowl game plan, pass your keys to a sober, designated driver before the kickoff," says Transportation Cabinet Secretary Bill Nighbert. "It's the best way to avoid a tragic crash or an arrest for impaired driving."
According KSP Capt. Tim Lucas, commander of the Governor's Highway Safety Program, it's best not to drink any amount of alcohol if you are going to drive a motor vehicle.
"Alcohol affects different people in different ways," Lucas explains. "The less a person weighs, the faster and more intense their reaction. Women have stronger reactions than men and first-time drinkers will have greater reactions. Often, a person can become impaired after consuming just one drink."
"Kentucky has a no tolerance stance regarding impaired driving, " he adds. "Impaired driving is against the law, period. There are no warnings or second chances given. Operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .08 will result in immediate arrest even for a first offense."
Impaired drivers can lose their licenses, time from their jobs and lose money due to fines, car towing and high court costs. They can also face higher insurance rates and possible imprisonment for repeat offenses, assault and vehicular manslaughter.
"Driving impaired or riding with someone impaired by alcohol is just not worth it," says Adams. "The consequences are serious and real including potential death, disfigurement and disability. Be responsible during your Super Bowl activities. Avoid alcohol or handoff your keys to a sober, designated driver. You don't want to face a sudden death situation or be penalized for illegal procedure."
Citizens can contribute to highway safety by reporting 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.