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Kentucky announces holiday crackdown on drunken drivers

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If you’re over the limit, you’re under arrest

By The Staff

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet's Office of Highway Safety  is reminding everyone to Drive Smart during the July Fourth holiday period. Officers will be out in force, cracking down on any violation, with an emphasis on impaired drivers. The Drunk Driving. Over the Limit, Under Arrest enforcement blitz will run from Thursday, July 2, through Sunday, July 5.

“This time of year, people hit the road to join friends and family for celebrations across the state,” Transportation Secretary Joe Prather said. “Through traffic safety checkpoints and aggressive patrols, state and local law enforcement will utilize all available resources in an effort to make Kentucky’s roadways as safe as possible.”

Last year in Kentucky, 67 crashes and four fatalities were attributed to alcohol during the July Fourth weekend. Of the 826 total fatalities in Kentucky last year, 178 involved alcohol. Seventeen alcohol-related deaths involved a motorcyclist.

“Too many people fail to understand that alcohol and driving don’t mix,” said Chuck Geveden, executive director of the Office of Highway Safetly. “Driving impaired isn’t worth the risk.”

Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicate almost 13,000 of the 41,059 people killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2007 involved at least one driver or motorcycle rider with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher. A BAC of 0.08 is the legal limit in every state.

Also the NHTSA said 41 percent of the 2,182 motorcycle riders who died in single-vehicle crashes in 2007 had BAC levels of 0.08 or higher. In fatal crashes in 2007, motorcyclists had greater incidents of illegal BAC levels than any other type of vehicle operator.

“Impaired driving is no accident – nor is it a victimless crime,” Prather saud. “It’s vitally important we bring this tragic situation to an end.”

By following these easy steps, drivers can enjoy a safe and festive holiday without jeopardizing their lives and the lives of others on the road:

e- Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin;

e- Before drinking, designate a sober driver and give that person your keys;

e- If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation so you are sure to get home safely;

• Use your community’s Sober Rides program;

e- If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to contact your local law enforcement.

Those who drive while impaired don’t only risk killing themselves or someone else. The trauma and financial costs of a crash or an arrest for driving while impaired can be significant. Violators often face jail time, the loss of their driver’s licenses, higher insurance rates, and dozens of other unanticipated expenses.

“No matter what you drive – passenger car, pickup or motorcycle – if you are caught driving impaired you will be arrested,” Geveden said. “Don’t let this Fourth of July blow up in your face. Remember. Drunk Driving. Over the Limit, Under Arrest.”