Drive Sober Campaign is underway

The Kentucky Office of Highway Safety, part of the Transportation Cabinet, is joining the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and law enforcement across the nation in reminding drivers to “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”

The campaign began Friday and runs through January 1.
Lewis County Chief Deputy Matt Ross says that while law enforcement officers patrol for impaired drivers year-round, the NHTSA says impaired driving-related crashes tend to increase during the Christmas and New Year’s holiday period.

There were more than 4,700 crashes involving an impaired driver in Kentucky last year, resulting in more than 2,200 injuries and 138 deaths.

“Impaired driving is 100 percent preventable,” said Kentucky Office of Highway Safety Acting Executive Director Jason Siwula. “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.”

The NHTSA says impaired driving fatalities typically spike during holidays. To prevent such tragedies, the Transportation Cabinet recommends:

• 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 call the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office at 606-796-2912, the Kentucky State Police 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’s not only the law, it’s the best defense against an impaired driver. Buckling up helps prevent injury and death if involved in a crash.

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