As Kentuckians celebrate Independence Day next 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, the holiday weekend can create dangerous road conditions when individuals choose to drive while impaired.
“We want all Kentuckians to enjoy their Independence Day festivities,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “However, we encourage everyone to celebrate responsibly by booking a safe ride home or designating a sober driver if your celebrations include alcohol. The top priority for everyone has to be keeping themselves and others safe.”
Last year in Kentucky, there were 62 crashes due to a drunken and/or drugged driver over the Fourth of July holiday period, resulting in 39 injuries and two deaths.
“Impaired driving is 100 percent preventable,” said KYTC Secretary Jim Gray. “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 get home at the end of the night safely; * 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 to their destination safely. * Wear a seat belt! It is not only the law, it is the best defense against an impaired driver. Buckling up helps prevent injury and death if involved in a crash.
“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 Gray. “Remember – buzzed driving is drunk driving.”