The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s (KYTC) Office of Highway Safety is joining the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and law enforcement nationwide in the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign Dec. 16, 2020 through Jan. 1, 2021.
“It’s been a tough year for all Kentuckians and I want us to have a great Christmas and New Year’s holiday,” said Gov. Beshear. “But to keep each other safe, I’ve got to ask you two things. First, please celebrate safely – avoid travel, significantly limit gatherings and use precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while with anyone from outside of your household. Second, please get home safely. Drive sober or plan a safe ride home with someone else to protect yourself and everyone on the road.”
According to NHTSA, impaired driving-related crashes tend to increase during the holidays.
“While our holiday celebrations may look a little different this year, our message stays the same: Always plan for a sober ride home,” said KYTC Secretary Jim Gray. “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.”
In Kentucky, 547 impaired driving-related crashes resulting in 276 injuries and 10 deaths 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,” said KYTC State Highway Engineer James Ballinger. “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 to your destination safely.”
To prevent impaired driving-related tragedies this holiday season, the KYTC recommends the following:
- 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 to get home safely.
- If you see an impaired driver, safely pull over and contact law enforcement. You may dial the KSP toll-free line directly 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 them safely to where they are going.
- 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.
“Impaired driving-related crashes are 100 percent preventable,” said Ballinger. “All we ask is that you make safe choices this holiday season and celebrate responsibly.”
For more information on drunken driving visit https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drunk-driving.
For more information on drug-impaired driving visit https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drug-impaired-driving.