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Kentucky Office of Highway Safety encourages motorists to drive safely this Halloween

This Halloween, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s (KYTC) Office of Highway Safety is partnering with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to remind motorists that “Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving.”

“It’s been a tough year for all Kentuckians but we must remain vigilant and continue making responsible choices to keep each other safe,” said Gov. Andy Beshear. “Halloween falls on a weekend so there’s potential for indoor gatherings to peak. I want to encourage Kentuckians to celebrate safely by following health guidelines and making plans for a sober ride home if you plan to drink. A few preventive measures can mean the difference between life and death.”

“We all share the road and can make it safer for everyone by practicing safe behaviors like buckling up, putting the phone down and driving sober to help prevent crashes, injuries and deaths on Kentucky roadways,” said Transportation Cabinet Secretary Jim Gray.

According to NHTSA, from 2014 to 2018, 41 percent of all people killed in motor vehicle crashes on Halloween night were in crashes involving a drunken driver. Adults between the ages of 21 and 34 had the highest percentage (39 percent) of deaths in drunken-driving crashes on Halloween night in 2018.

“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 State Highway Engineer James Ballinger. “Even one drink can impair judgment, so we’re simply asking partygoers to plan their sober ride home in advance before decision-making abilities are affected.”

There were more than 4,700 total collisions involving an impaired driver in Kentucky last year, resulting in more than 2,200 injuries and 138 deaths

“Drunken driving is 100 percent preventable,” said Ballinger. “You should never put yourself or others at risk because you made the choice to drink and drive.”

Follow these simple tips for a safe and happy evening:

• Remember that it is never OK to drink and drive. Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation or a ride booking service to get home safely.

• Walking while impaired can be just as dangerous as drunken driving. Designate a sober friend to walk you home.

• If you see a drunken driver, contact law enforcement. You may dial the Kentucky State Police (KSP) toll-free line directly at 1-800-222-5555 or use the one-touch dial feature through the KSP app. Callers will remain anonymous and should give a description of the vehicle, location, direction of travel and license number if possible.

• Have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home 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.

Please visit www.kycovid19.ky.gov for continued guidance on staying safe during the pandemic. A direct link to Halloween information can be found here.

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

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