Cynthiana-Harrison County law enforcement joining forces to crack down on drunk driving

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By Bill Kuster

The holiday season is one of the deadliest and most dangerous times on America’s roadways due to an increase in drunk driving. Since 1981 every president of the United States has underscored his commitment to preventing impaired driving by proclaiming December as National Drunk and Drugged Driver (DDD) Prevention Month.

In an effort to get impaired drivers off the roads, the Harrison County Attorney’s Office is joining with hundreds of other state and local law enforcement and highway safety officials across the nation from Dec. 13 through Dec. 31, to launch an enforcement mobilization effort to crack down on drunk driving, called “Drunken Driving Over the Limit Under Arrest.”

Alcohol-impaired driving is one of the state’s most often committed and deadliest crimes.

In 2007, 41,059 people nationwide were killed in motor vehicle traffic accidents. Alcohol-impaired driving accounted for 32 percent of the motor vehicle traffic fatalities. In that same year, 12,998 were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes which involved a driver or motorcycle rider with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher. During the month of December 2007, 3,235 people were killed in crashes on America’s roadways. Of that number, 992 people were killed in crashes that involved drivers or motorcycle rider operators with blood alcohol concentrations of .08 or higher.

The Harrison County Attorney’s Office joins with all law enforcement agencies in urging all drivers to not allow the holiday season to end in an arrest, or even worse, death or injury as a result of alcohol-impaired driving.

Violators of the Drunken Driving Statute often face jail time, the loss of his or her driver’s license, higher insurance rates and dozens of other unanticipated expenses, including attorney fees, court costs, car towing, repairs and lost time from work.

The refusal to submit to a sobriety test in many jurisdictions, including Kentucky, may lead to suspension of the operator’s license. The vehicle is also often impounded.

This does not take into consideration the additional intangible costs of arrest and conviction for DUI, including further suspension of one’s license and the embarrassment and humiliation of informing family, friends and employers.

During this holiday season, if you plan to drink with friends, simply designate a sober driver before going out and give that person your keys and have an agreement that he or she deliver you home safely.

If you are alone and do not have a designated driver, consider calling a taxi, a sober friend or family member to get you home. In all cases, wear your seat belt while in your vehicle or use a helmet and protective gear when on your motorcycle as these are your best defenses against impaired drivers.