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For More Information Contact:
Capt. David Jude
(502) 782-1780

Kentucky State Police Mobilizing for
Impaired Driving Enforcement During Holiday Season

(FRANKFORT, KY) - With increased travel expected on Kentucky's highways during this extended holiday season, the Kentucky State Police today announced plans to participate in a nationwide program designed to protect citizens against impaired drivers. Beginning December 20, 2002 and continuing through January 5, 2003, KSP will take part in the "You Drink & Drive. You Lose." campaign, a partnership of criminal justice and traffic safety organizations in all 50 states that provides 16 nights of high-intensity enforcement.

"There will be no warnings," explained Kentucky State Police Commissioner Patrick N. Simpson. "Our message is simple. You drink and drive. You lose. Don't risk it. Impairment begins with the first drink and impaired driving is against the law."

State troopers will be out in full force this holiday season conducting traffic safety checkpoints and saturation patrols to detect, arrest and prosecute violators to the fullest extent of the law. Impaired drivers can lose their licenses, time from their jobs and lose money from high fines and court costs as well as possible imprisonment for repeat offenses, assault and vehicular manslaughter.

"You'll be spending your money on bail and towing fees instead of holiday gifts," Simpson warns.

To add further effectiveness to the campaign, the Governor's Highway Safety Program is awarding passive alcohol sensors to 16 law enforcement agencies (see attached list) throughout the state. This technology non-intrusively samples exhaled air immediately around an individual's mouth and determines the approximate level of alcohol in seconds. It can also be used to detect alcohol in open containers and enclosed spaces.

According to studies conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) Institute For Highway Safety, passive alcohol sensors used at traffic safety checkpoints increase effectiveness in detecting legally impaired drivers by 15 to 20 percent. Other research indicates that these sensors identify about 75 percent of the subjects with a blood alcohol concentration at or above 0.10 percent, compared to a 40 to 50 percent detection rate achieved by officers not using sensors.

"This gives us another powerful tool in the battle against impaired drivers," says Simpson. "We're very enthusiastic about making this technology available to law enforcement agencies throughout the state. Every life saved is a victory."

After years of gradual improvement, fatalities in alcohol-related crashes are on the rise nationally. According to NHTSA, 17,448 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes in 2001. That's 41 percent of the 42,116 people killed in all traffic crashes. In 2001, Kentucky had a total of 5,853 alcohol-related collisions with 172 fatalities and 3,995 injuries.

Contact Information for the Kentucky State Police

Kentucky State Police
919 Versailles Road | Frankfort, KY 40601

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