Although social gatherings may be limited this year, holiday stress can lead to increased substance use during the holiday season. Everyone knows that drugs and/or alcohol will hinder your ability to drive, but did you know they affect your judgment about whether you can or should drive? Over the last five years, 547 impaired driving-related crashes resulting in 276 injuries and 10 deaths occurred in Kentucky over the holidays, according to a Kentucky Office of Highway Safety press release from Dec. 2020.
Here are some tips to prevent impaired driving-related tragedies this holiday season.
- Offer non-alcoholic drink options if you are hosting a party, and make sure all guests leave with a sober driver.
- Plan, in advance of festivities, how you will arrive home safely.
- If you are impaired call a sober friend or family member, ride-sharing program, or use public transportation to get home safely.
- If you see 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.
- If you see an impaired driver, pull over and contact law enforcement. The KSP toll-free number is: 1-800-222-5555 or call 911.
- Follow Kentucky law by wearing a seat belt. They are the most effective safety feature in vehicles. More than half of Kentucky’s traffic fatalities are unrestrained.
A DUI can cost thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees, fines, court costs, lost time at work, higher insurance rates and more. Impaired driving can result in losing your driver’s license and your car. The DUI law establishes minimum jail times which cannot be probated, suspended, conditionally discharged or otherwise subject to early release if convicted of DUI and aggravating circumstance(s) exist.
Impaired driving is 100% preventable. Don’t ruin your holiday or the holiday celebrations of others by driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. And remember, you have a wonderful resource available in the Kentucky Employee Assistance Program (KEAP). You can reach them at 502-564-5788 or 800-445-5327 and find more information on their website.