Drive Sober campaign continues through Labor Day

Published 9:20 am Friday, August 19, 2022


Through Labor Day weekend, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Office of Highway Safety is joining the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and law enforcement across the nation in a campaign reminding drivers to “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”

“Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer and we want to encourage everyone to celebrate responsibly by booking a safe ride home or designating a sober driver if your celebrations include alcohol,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “Together, we can avoid preventable tragedies on Kentucky roadways.”

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While law enforcement officers patrol for impaired drivers year-round, highway safety officials say impaired driving-related crashes tend to increase during the Labor Day holiday period.

“If you are under the influence of any substance and choose to get behind the wheel, you put everyone on the road in danger, including yourself,” said Transportation Secretary Jim Gray. “Drivers must understand that drugs and/or alcohol not only hinder your ability to drive, but also affect your judgment about whether you can or should drive. You may think you’re fine, but impairment slows judgment, coordination and reaction times.”

According to the Office of Highway Safety, or KOHS, last year in Kentucky there were 4,670 total crashes involving an impaired driver, resulting in 2,187 injuries and 194 deaths. During the 2021 Labor Day holiday weekend, there were 69 crashes involving an impaired driver, leading to 29 injuries and 4 deaths.

“Our ask is simple,” Gray stated, “make safe choices when behind the wheel. The top priority for everyone has to be keeping themselves and others safe.”

To prevent impaired driving-related tragedies, the KOHS recommends the following:      

• Before the festivities begin, plan a way to get home at the end of the night safely.

• If you’re impaired, use a ride-booking company, taxi, call a sober friend or family member or use public transportation to get home safely.

• If you see an impaired driver, safely pull over and contact law enforcement. You may call the KSP toll-free line directly at 800-222-5555, or 911. Provide a vehicle description, license number, location and, if possible, direction of travel.

• If you know people who are about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to their destination safely.

• Wear a seat belt! It is not only the law, it is the best defense against an impaired driver. Buckling up helps prevent injury and death if involved in a crash.