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Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign continues

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

Ahead of Labor Day Weekend, authorities are urging Kentuckians to practice caution, especially when on the road.

The “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, launched in partnership by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Office of Highway Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, runs through Labor Day, September 4.

Bill Bell is the Executive Director of the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety. He said troops watch for drunken drivers year-round, but the campaign aims to increase awareness.

“We want people to know that police will be out there. They’ll be paid through federal overtime to enforce the DUI laws, so they’ll be out in force this weekend as they are a lot of times during the year. And so they’ll be looking for impaired drivers on our highways, and basically the goal is to get impaired drivers off our roadways so they don’t endanger themselves or others,” said Bell.

Driving under the influence is defined as operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or more- reduced to 0.02 if the driver is less than 21 years old- or while under the influence of any drug that may impair the person’s ability to drive safely. Bell said it’s much easier to tell when someone is under the influence of alcohol, but there is still a zero tolerance policy for driving while on mentally impairing drugs.

“We also have drug-recognition experts all over the state, and they are trained to find out just by the behavior of the driver what types of drugs they may be on,” said Bell. “And then it’s up to the police officers to get that warrant to take blood from the offender and find out exactly what they’re on and what level.”

According to the Kentucky Department of Transportation, last Labor Day Weekend saw 76 crashes with an impaired driver, causing 44 injuries and one death; in 2022, there were more than 4000 crashes with a drunk driver, resulting in 189 fatalities. As of September 1, 61 fatal collisions caused by impaired driving have been recorded in Kentucky this year.

The KOHS recommends Kentuckians properly plan a safe ride home with a sober driver, including a taxi, public transit, or ride-share services. Anyone who sees an impaired driver on the road is encouraged to safely pull over and call Kentucky State Police at 1-800-222-5555. More information about drunken and impaired driving can be found at kydrivesober.com