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Kentucky Office of Highway Safety Joins National Effort to Prevent Impaired Driving During Labor Day Holiday

Bill Stephens

August 16th, 2021

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‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” runs Aug. 18 – Sept. 6

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Aug. 16, 2021) – This Labor Day weekend, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s (KYTC) Office of Highway Safety (KOHS) is joining the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and law enforcement across the nation in reminding drivers to “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”

“Labor Day weekend is a time we all look forward to, where we can relax and celebrate the unofficial end of summer,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “We want all Kentuckians to have a great time, but to keep yourselves and others safe, get vaccinated for COVID-19, mask up if you’re indoors with people outside of your household and plan a sober ride home if you plan to drink. Together, we can avoid preventable tragedies on Kentucky roads.”  

While law enforcement officers patrol for impaired drivers year-round, NHTSA says 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 KYTC 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 KOHS, over the past two years, there were more than 9,600 total crashes involving an impaired driver in Kentucky, resulting in more than 4,600 injuries and 327 deaths. During the Labor Day holiday weekend, there were 103 crashes involving an impaired driver, resulting in 64 injuries and two deaths.

“Our ask is simple- make safe choices when behind the wheel,” said Secretary Gray.

To prevent impaired driving-related tragediesthe 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 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 to their destination safely; and
  • 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.

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.

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