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This Fourth of July, remember: Buzzed driving is drunk driving

In News, State by OC Monitor StaffLeave a Comment

FRANKFORT, Ky. — This Independence Day, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is joining the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to remind drivers that “Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.”

Unfortunately, this summertime celebration creates dangerous road conditions when drivers choose to drive while impaired.

“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 KYTC Secretary Jim Gray. “During the Fourth of July holiday, make sure to have a sober, designated driver for all your festivities.”

Last year in Kentucky, there were 66 crashes due to a drunken and/or drugged driver over the Fourth of July holiday period, resulting in 28 injuries and four deaths.

“Impaired driving is 100 percent preventable,” said KYTC Office of Highway Safety Acting Executive Director Jason Siwula. “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 safely get home at the end of the night;
  • 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 them safely to where they are going.
  • Wear a seat belt! It is not only the law, but it is also the best defense against impaired driving. Buckling up helps prevent injury and death if involved in a crash.

“We want all Kentuckians to enjoy their Independence Day celebrations,” said Siwula.  “All we ask is that you make smart choices and celebrate responsibly.”

For more information on drunken driving visit https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drunk-driving.  For more information on drug-impaired driving visit https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/drug-impaired-driving

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