FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 27, 2023) – Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) Secretary Jim Gray today encouraged Kentuckians to remember that “Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving,” so make sure your Halloween celebration plans include being safe and sober behind the wheel.
The KYTC Office of Highway Safety is partnering with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to remind motorists that 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.
“Consuming drugs or alcohol not only hinder your ability to drive, but also affect your judgment about whether you can or should drive,” said Secretary Gray. “You may think you’re fine, but impairment slows judgment, coordination and reaction times.”
According to the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety, last year in Kentucky, there were 3,924 highway crashes involving an impaired driver. The result was 1,807 injuries and 109 deaths. Over the Halloween weekend, 60 alcohol-involved collisions resulted in three deaths (one bicyclist) and 17 injuries.
Secretary Gray said drivers should be especially watchful for pedestrians at Halloween, whether they be children trick-or-treating or adults who have had too much to drink: “Walking while intoxicated can also be deadly, as lack of attention to one’s surroundings puts pedestrians at risk of getting hit by a vehicle.”
According to NHTSA, approximately one-third of all traffic crash fatalities in the United States involve drunken drivers.
Follow these simple tips for a safe and happy evening:
- Remember that it is never OK to drink and drive. Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation or a ride booking service to get home safely.
- Walking while impaired can be just as dangerous as drunken driving. Designate a sober friend to walk you home.
- If you see a drunken driver, contact law enforcement. You may dial the KSP toll-free line directly at 1-800-222-5555 or use the one-touch dial feature through the KSP app. Callers will remain anonymous and should give a description of the vehicle, location, direction of travel and license number if possible.
- Have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.
- Wear a seat belt while in a vehicle. 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.
- Use caution if walking while intoxicated. While you may be doing the right thing by not drinking and driving, risks still exist.