Drive sober or get pulled over

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To help save lives this holiday season, Hodgenville City Police Department is launching a special “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” crackdown to stop impaired drivers and to save lives on our roadways.

Officers will be aggressively looking for impaired drivers and will arrest anyone caught driving impaired. Enforcement efforts will include sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols. The special enforcement crackdown will run through Jan. 1.

“Lots of folks will be out during this busy holiday season, enjoying themselves and the holiday festivities, and we want everyone to be safe on our roadways,” said Hodgenville Chief of Police Steve Johnson. “That’s why we will be stepping up enforcement to catch and arrest impaired drivers. Please be forewarned, if you are caught drinking and driving impaired, you will be arrested. No warnings. No excuses.”

During 2010, more than 10,000 people were killed nationwide in motor vehicle traffic crashes involving an impaired driver.

The holiday season is a particularly dangerous time. During December 2010, 30 percent of all fatalities in motor vehicle traffic crashes involved alcohol-impaired drivers. Data also shows that among those alcohol-impaired-driving fatalities, 71 percent occurred when drivers had nearly twice the legal limit blood alcohol concentration of .15 grams per deciliter or higher.

“No one ever thinks that their holiday celebration will end in jail, or worse, in a hospital or the morgue,” said Johnson. “But for those who include alcohol in their celebrations and then get behind the wheel, this is often the case.”

Last year in Kentucky, six people were killed over the Christmas and New Year’s holiday. Two of those deaths involved alcohol.

It is illegal in all 50 States, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher.

According to the Hodgenville officers, violators face jail time, loss of driver’s license and steep financial consequences such as higher insurance rates, attorney fees, court costs, loss of time at work and the potential loss of employment.

Johnson said there are three simple steps people can take to stay safe and out of trouble. One of those things is to plan ahead.

“If you will be drinking, do not plan on driving,” said Matthews. “Designate a sober driver or find another way home. Even one too many drinks increases the risk of a crash while driving a motor vehicle.”

Johnson also stated if an individual is impaired, find another way home. Use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member.

“If someone you know is drinking, do not let them get behind the wheel. If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact law enforcement. Your actions may save someone’s life and inaction could cost a life,” said Johnson.