(FRANKFORT, Ky.) – As St. Patrick's Day approaches, the Kentucky State Police is reminding drivers not to get behind the wheel if they've been drinking. The agency recently partnered with the HERO Campaign for Designated Drivers®, a multi-state program that promotes the use of sober drivers during celebrations such as St. Patrick’s Day. The HERO Campaign was inspired by the tragic loss of Ensign John Elliott, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, who was killed in a collision caused by a drunk driver.
“Before choosing to drink, choose a sober designated driver. We want people to enjoy their celebrations. More importantly, we want to ensure that the driver, their passengers and everyone on our roads arrive home safely,” says Tpr. Michael Webb. “Drunk driving is always preventable, and life is too precious to be lost in a senseless tragedy.”
According to NHTSA, on average, every 51 minutes a person is killed in a drunk-driving crash in the United States and the majority of these crashes involve drunk drivers who have blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) of .15 or higher, almost twice the legal limit of .08 BAC.
“We are cognizant of planned activities across the state and will have increased patrols on the roadways in an effort to remove impaired drivers from the road,” adds Webb. “When a person chooses to drive while intoxicated, they risk the safety and well being of others. Make no mistake, if you are caught driving impaired, you will go to jail.”
In 2012, state and local law enforcement made 28,254 DUI arrests in Kentucky. Additionally, there were nearly 5,000 alcohol-related crashes resulting in 145 deaths.
Webb encourages citizens and retail liquor establishments to visit the Kentucky Hero webpage to find out how they can become involved in the program at http://kentuckyheroes.org/.