Justice and Public Safety Cabinet
December: National Drunk & Drugged Driving (3D) Campaign Enforcement Blitz Continues this Holiday Season
[Frankfort, Ky.] – Drunk driving is one of America’s deadliest crimes. In fact, during 2005 nearly 17,000 people were killed in highway crashes involving an impaired driver.
In Kentucky, during 2005, 220 persons were killed in fatal collisions involving a drunk driver. Sixty-two percent of the drivers involved in these fatal crashes had a BAC of 0.15 or above.
The relative risk of a crash of any severity increases as BAC increases. Compared to drivers with zero BAC, the risk of a crash is five times higher for a BAC of 0.10; twenty-two times higher for a BAC of 0.15; eighty-two times higher for a BAC of 0.20; and one-hundred fifty-four times higher for a BAC of 0.25 or higher. See chart below.
That is why The Governor’s Highway Safety Program announced today that Law Enforcement will be out in full force looking for and cracking down on impaired drivers this holiday season.
Since 1981, every President of the United States has demonstrated the commitment to preventing impaired driving by proclaiming December as National Drunk & Drugged Driving (3D) Prevention Month.
Driving with a BAC of .08 or higher is illegal in every state, but too many are still not getting the message. According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, more than 1.3 million people were arrested for driving under the influence during 2005.
"Unfortunately, many people continue to operate vehicles while impaired, endangering themselves and everyone else on the roads," said John (Jack) Adams, Kentucky State Police Commissioner. "Some make excuses, like 'I didn't think I was drunk' or 'I didn't think I had that much to drink.' The cold fact is they do not think. We need to continue to send the message that there are no excuses for this selfish, criminal behavior."
“State, County and Local Officers will be out in force conducting traffic safety checkpoints and saturation patrols to get more drunk drivers off the road,” said Captain Eric Walker, Governor’s Highway Safety Program Commander. “We want everyone to play it safe and always designate a sober driver or find a different way home if they have been out drinking.”
The Governor’s Highway Safety Program advocates always designating a sober driver and not letting friends drive drunk. Other tips to help avoid a tragic crash or an arrest for impaired driving include:
• Plan ahead: Whenever you plan on consuming alcohol, designate your sober driver before going out and give that person your keys;
• If you’re impaired, call a taxi, use mass transit or call a sober friend or family member to get you home safely;
• Use your community’s Sober Rides program;
• Promptly report drunk drivers you see on the roadways to law enforcement;
• Wearing your seat belt or using protective gear on your motorcycle is your best defense against an impaired driver;
• And remember, Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk. If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.
“Drunk driving is simply not worth the risk. It is deadly serious and against the law.” said Captain Eric Walker. “So don’t take the chance. Remember, if you drive over the limit, you will be arrested.”
For more information, visit www.ghsp.ky.gov.