© 2023 WMKY
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

This Fourth of July, remember: Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

This Independence Day weekend, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) is joining the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to remind drivers that “Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.”

Unfortunately, this summertime celebration creates dangerous road conditions when drivers choose to drive while impaired.

“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,” said KYTC Secretary Jim Gray. “During the Fourth of July holiday, make sure to have a sober, designated driver for all your festivities.”

Last year in Kentucky, there were 66 crashes due to a drunken and/or drugged driver over the Fourth of July holiday period, resulting in 28 injuries and four deaths.

“Impaired driving is 100 percent preventable,” said KYTC 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.”

According to NHTSA, impaired driving fatalities typically spike during holidays. To prevent tragedies from occurring, the KYTC recommends the following:   

*Before the festivities begin, plan a way to safely get home at the end of the night;

*If you’re impaired, use a ride-booking company, 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 dial the KSP toll-free line directly 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 is not only the law, it is the best defense against an impaired driving. Buckling up helps prevent injury and death if involved in a crash.

“We want all Kentuckians to enjoy their Independence Day celebrations,” said Siwula.  “All we ask is that you make smart choices and celebrate responsibly.”

(provided by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet)

Paul Hitchcock earned his Masters in Communications from Morehead State University and Bachelors in Radio-TV/Psychology from Georgetown College. A veteran broadcaster for more than 40 years and an avid fan of blues, jazz and American roots music. Hitchcock has been with WMKY since 1986 and was named General Manager in 2003. He currently hosts "Muddy Bottom Blues" (Fri., 8pm-9pm), "Nothin' But The Blues" (Sat., 8pm-12am), "Sunday Night Jazz Showcase" and "Live From The Jazz Lounge" (Sun., 8pm-9pm) and "The Golden Age of Radio" (Sun., 2pm-3pm). He also serves as producer for "A Time For Tales" and "The Reader's Notebook."