2:32pm

Thu February 2, 2012
The Commonwealth

Campaign Cites 1,200 Drunk Drivers

The holiday “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” enforcement effort, coordinated by the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety, resulted in 1,211 citations for drunken driving. The annual, federally funded campaign, supported by more than 200 state and local law enforcement agencies, was held Dec. 16 through Jan. 2.

The campaign’s main objective was to keep drunken drivers off the road. In the process, officers at 340 traffic safety checkpoints throughout the state also made 1,346 felony arrests and 1,185 drug arrests. They recovered 35 stolen vehicles, apprehended 1,808 fugitives and issued 2,805 seat belt citations. They also cited 9,037 drivers for speeding, 429 for reckless driving and 3,722 people for having no proof of automobile insurance.

“The goal of the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign is not to write tickets, but to save lives,” Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock said in a press release. “We want to educate the public on the dangers of drunken driving and reduce deaths and injuries along our roadways. It’s an extra benefit when traffic enforcement leads to criminal enforcement.”

Last year, Kentucky recorded over 4,700 alcohol-related crashes, resulting in 139 deaths and more than 2,400 injuries.

“We’re pleased with the results of the holiday campaign and appreciate the officers who work tirelessly throughout the state to keep our roadways safe,” Office of Highway Safety Director Bill Bell said. “The partnership between all the agencies involved was tremendous. If one life was saved, it was well worth the effort.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of alcohol-related fatalities declined in the United States from 2008 to 2009. Still, in 2009, nearly 11,000 people were killed in highway crashes involving a driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher – the legal threshold for drunken driving.