LONDON KY—The London Police Department will have zero tolerance for impaired drivers this Labor Day holiday as they team up with law enforcement agencies throughout the nation for the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, Aug. 21-Sept.7.
The impaired driving crackdown will include high-visibility enforcement and nighttime checkpoints with a strong emphasis on seat belt and child safety seat violations. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), on average, there’s one alcohol impaired driving-related fatality every 51 minutes across America. High-visibility enforcement such as the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign reduces alcohol-impaired driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent.
In Kentucky in 2014, there were more than 4,300 collisions involving alcohol, resulting in over 2,000 injuries and 113 fatalities. During the Labor Day holiday weekend, fourteen people were killed and 297 were injured on our roadways. One of those deaths involved alcohol.
“We hope the campaign will serve as a reminder that those who choose to drink should never get behind the wheel,” London Police Chief Derek House said. “But if someone does choose to drive while drunk, we will arrest them. No warnings. No excuses.”
This year, Senate Bill 133 passed the legislature and will require repeat DUI offenders to blow into an ignition interlock device, which is installed on the vehicle. The vehicle will not start if the person’s blood-alcohol concentration exceeds a 0.02 level. First-time DUI offenders are not required to have the device installed unless there is an aggravating circumstance, such as speeding or driving drunk with a child in the car.
Another tool to combat drinking and driving, Kentucky Office of Highway Safety partnered with Mobile Life Solutions last year to develop a free “Drive Sober Kentucky” application that may be downloaded at www.drivesoberky.com. The app contains phone numbers to taxi and limousine services and sober ride programs, along with a one-touch dial feature to report a drunken driver and information about the designated driver HERO campaign. If a local taxi, limousine or sober ride program would like to participate but is not included in the app, send contact information firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We aggressively watch for impaired drivers year-round,” Chief House said. “But by joining this effort, we will make London’s roadways safer for everyone during the heavily-traveled Labor Day holiday.”