Kentucky Office of Highway Safety launches Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest crackdown
Major enforcement effort seeks to save lives this holiday season
FRANKFORT, Ky. - Drunken driving is one of America's deadliest crimes. Last year, 11,773 people died in highway crashes involving a driver or motorcycle rider with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher.
That is why the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety (KOHS) announced today it is joining with sheriff's offices, police departments and the Kentucky State Police to take part in a national crackdown on impaired driving - Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest.
"Make no mistake. Our message is simple. No matter what you drive, if you are driving impaired, you will be arrested. No exceptions. No excuses," said KOHS Executive Director Chuck Geveden. "Officers will be out in force statewide conducting sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols and using undercover officers to get more drunk drivers off the road-and save lives that might otherwise be lost."
In Kentucky last year there were more than 5,000 alcohol-related crashes, resulting in 2,754 injuries and 160 deaths. Twenty fatalities - eight involving alcohol - occurred during the Christmas and New Year's holidays.
"Driving with a BAC of .08 or higher is illegal in every state, yet we continue to see far too many people suffer debilitating injuries and loss of their loved ones as a result of impaired driving," said Boyd Sigler, director of the KOHS Division of Highway Safety Programs. "This careless disregard for human life must stop."
Geveden said drunken driving is simply not worth the risk. "Not only do you risk killing yourself or someone else, but the trauma and financial costs of a crash or an arrest for impaired driving can be significant," said Geveden. "Violators often face jail time, the loss of their driver's license, higher insurance rates, attorney fees, time away from work, and dozens of other expenses."
Sigler wants all motorists to do what is necessary to protect themselves against a drunk driver. "Both drivers and passengers must realize that seat belts are the single most important safety device in the vehicle," said Sigler. "Not only is it the law, it is your best defense against injury and death."
The Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest. impaired driving crackdown is a deterrence program organized by the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It combines high-visibility enforcement with heightened public awareness through advertising and publicity.
This December's effort is supported by $7.5 million in national advertising to help put everyone on notice that if they are caught driving impaired, they will be arrested.
If you see a person operating a vehicle while impaired, please call your local law enforcement agency or the Kentucky State Police at 1-800-222-5555.
For more information, visit http://highwaysafety.ky.gov and www.Stopimpaireddriving.org <http://www.stopimpaireddriving.org/> .