Kentuckians Reminded to Designate a Sober Driver this St. Patrick’s Day

FRANKFORT, Ky.  – St. Patrick’s Day is one of our nation’s most popular holidays, celebrated with festivals, parades and parties. The amount of alcohol consumed is higher than average, which is why Kentuckians are reminded to designate a sober driver before the festivities begin.

“If your St. Patrick’s Day celebration involves alcohol, make the responsible choice to designate a sober driver ahead of time,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “Remember, buzzed driving is drunk driving and can seriously endanger you and others on the road.” 

To help keep roadways safe, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s (KYTC) Office of Highway Safety is joining the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in spreading the message that Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving.  Over the past three years, KYTC reports 43 crashes statewide related to a drunken driver on St. Patrick’s Day, resulting in 24 injuries and six fatalities.

“Impairment begins with one drink,” said KYTC Secretary Jim Gray.  “Alcohol impairs your driving skills and hinders your judgment, so don’t get behind the wheel – and make a plan before the party begins.”

According to NHTSA, on average, one person is killed every 39 minutes in a drunken-driving crash in the United States. Last year, approximately 16 percent of deaths on Kentucky roadways were due to a drunken driver.

“Drunken driving crashes are 100 percent preventable,” said Secretary Gray. “With all the sober ride options available, there is never an excuse for driving after drinking alcohol.”

To prevent tragedies from occurringfollow these simple tips:    

  • Remember that it is never OK to drink and drive. Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver, plan to use public transportation or a ride booking service to get home safely.
  • Walking while impaired can be just as dangerous as drunk 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.

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