FRANKFORT, Ky., – If you drive impaired in Jefferson County and surrounding counties … beware.
The Kentucky Office of Highway Safety (KOHS), Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and Brown-Forman joined other Louisville Highway Safety Committee team members from highway safety and health-related agencies to kick off the holiday “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign today at Fourth Street Live in Louisville.
“Although agencies place an emphasis on enforcement throughout the year, this campaign brings heightened awareness of the impaired driving issue that tends to increase during the holiday season,” said KOHS Executive Director Bill Bell. “We want drivers to be responsible behind the wheel so everyone can be with their loved ones for the holidays.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the federal agency that funds the campaign, high-visibility enforcement such as the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign reduces impaired-driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent.
In Louisville in 2014, there were more than 1,056 crashes involving alcohol and/or drugs, resulting in 557 injuries and 17 fatalities. Of those crashes, 105 occurred during December, resulting in 39 injuries and 5 fatalities.
In honor of the campaign, MADD presented LMPD Officer Dean Kisling with the MADD Hero Award.
“Officer Kisling has worked many drunk and drugged driving crashes,” said MADD Victim Services Specialist Rosalind Donald. “He always shows professionalism and compassion with the victims and is truly dedicated to helping eliminate drunk and drugged driving in Louisville.”
In Kentucky in 2014, there were more than 5,700 crashes involving alcohol and/or drugs, resulting in more than 3,000 injuries and 154 fatalities. More than 500 of the crashes occurred during December, resulting in 264 injuries and 14 fatalities.
“Lives could have been saved if they had just had a designated driver,” said Bell.
To encourage the use of sober drivers, Brown-Forman is partnering with safe ride companies CityScoot, Taxi 7, Yellow Cab, and Uber to provide discounts using the code SAFERIDEKY from Dec. 17, 2015 to Jan. 3, 2016. A $10,000 check was presented by Brown-Forman Vice President and Director of Corporate Communications Phil Lynch and North America Region Responsibility Manager Taylor Amerman to representatives from the four companies.
“Brown-Forman is proud to partner with the ‘Drive Sober’ campaign to encourage planning ahead, using a designated driver and not driving drunk,” said Amerman. “As a company committed to responsibility, we’re excited to work with our safe-ride partners and our neighbors in Louisville make their holiday season a safe one.”
Go to www.saferideky.com to get information on the different discounts offered by each safe ride company.
Adding one more tool to combat drinking and driving, KOHS partnered with Mobile Life Solutions 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 to email@example.com.
For more information, visit the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” Campaign Headquarters atwww.nhtsa.gov/drivesober.