Car accidents are the leading cause of death in the United States. Kentucky law enforcement officials are trying to do something about that, at least where drunk driving is concerned. Kentucky State Police, Louisville Metro Police, and other metropolitan police agencies are combining with the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety for the campaign "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over." The campaign runs until after Labor Day.
The "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign is part of a nationwide crackdown on drunk driving. In 2012, Kentucky alone experienced 5,750 car accidents related to alcohol, which resulted in 3,000 injuries and 146 deaths. During last year's Labor Day weekend alone, 388 were injured and nine killed, with two of the deaths directly linked to alcohol.
Kentucky law enforcement officials therefore have a multi-pronged plan for combating alcohol abuse this year. One part will be to stage a comprehensive advertising campaign about the dangers of drunk driving. Mothers Against Drunk Driving have set up a booth at the 4th Street Live news conference to discuss problems like underage drinking. Both Yellow Cab and the Transit Authority of River City have agreed to advertise on vehicles that travel around Louisville.
Another part of the plan involves providing vouchers for free rides to keep intoxicated drivers off of the road. Yellow Cab, City Scoop, and Brown-Forman Corp. will provide more than 2,000 vouchers throughout the Louisville area on Labor Day, such as in certain bars and in the 4th Street Live entertainment and retail district. Area residents have the option of ordering these vouchers online in advance, which are valid for $15.
Hopefully the efforts of businesses and Kentucky law enforcement will lead to a sharp reduction in the number of injuries and deaths this Labor Day weekend. It would be even better if people took the message to heart on a routine basis, leading to a sharp decline overall. Getting injured or losing a loved one in a drunk driving accident is something no one wants to experience.
In addition to the above statistics, here are some other sobering statistics about drinking and driving in Kentucky. In 2011, 94 under-18-year-olds were arrested for driving under the influence, and 196 were arrested for drunkenness. Of those between the ages of 12 and 20, 22% had consumed alcohol the past month, with nearly 15% of that binge drinking. In crashes involving fatalities, 68% involved a blood alcohol content level of more than .15, while 78% of repeat offenders had blood alcohol content levels that high. While the latest efforts may not change those statistics overnight, it may have some positive impact.
Those who are injured, or whose loved ones are killed in a drunk driving accident, may hire a Kentucky car accident attorney to see whether it is appropriate to file a lawsuit against the driver responsible. To succeed on a claim of negligence, a plaintiff must prove that the driver had a duty to others on the road to drive with reasonable care; that the driver breached that duty by drinking more alcohol than the legal limit, then choosing to drive; that as a result of the breach, they or their loved one was injured in a car accident; and as a result of the injury, they suffered damage or death.