KSP says check your Christmas cheer before driving

Published 10:17 am Thursday, December 15, 2022

KENTUCKY TODAY

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Office of Highway Safety is joining the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, and law enforcement nationwide in the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, Wednesday, Dec. 14, through Jan. 1.

“The holidays are just around the corner as Kentuckians look to celebrate with family and friends,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “Let’s crossover into the new year together by avoiding unnecessary tragedy. If your celebrations include alcohol, please celebrate responsibly by booking a safe ride home or designating a sober driver.”

According to NHTSA, impaired driving-related crashes tend to increase during the holidays.

“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 Cabinet Secretary Jim Gray. “Together, we can avoid preventable tragedies on Kentucky roadways.”

In Kentucky, 513 impaired driving-related crashes resulting in 244 injuries and 13 deaths have occurred during the Christmas and New Year holidays over the last five years.

“Drugs and/or alcohol not only hinder your ability to drive, but also affect your judgment about whether you can or should drive,” Gray pointed out. “This is why we ask that you make a plan before drinking begins.  No matter what you choose – a sober friend, taxi service or ride booking company – we want you to arrive at your destination safely.”

To prevent impaired driving-related tragedies this holiday season, the Cabinet recommends:           

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

• If impaired, use a ride-booking company or taxi, call a sober friend or family member or use public transportation.

• If you see an impaired driver, safely pull over and contact law enforcement.  You may reach Kentucky State Police at 1-800-222-5555 or call 911.

• 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.

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

“Impaired driving-related crashes are 100 percent preventable,” Gray added.  “All we ask is that you make safe choices this holiday season and celebrate responsibly.”