Our View: Celebrate responsibly

Published 9:47 am Thursday, December 20, 2018

“He sees you when you’re drinking,” and you better not drive after.

That’s the message from Kentucky State Police and Kentucky Office of Highway Safety as they begin their holiday campaign aimed at stopping drunk drivers.

The agencies are reminding motorists to be responsible behind the wheel as the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” increased enforcement campaign runs through Jan. 1, 2019.

“Images of Santa with the slogan, “He sees you when you’re drinking,” are at gas stations and bars/restaurants in more than 60 cities throughout the state with higher-than-average drunken driving-related crashes,” according to a press release.

These posters will serve as a light-hearted reminder about a very serious problem around the holidays.

Many holiday celebrations include alcohol, and there is an annual uptick in the instances of drunk-driving incidents at the holidays.

In Kentucky, 23 drunken driving deaths occurred during Christmas and New Year’s over the last five years, according to the KOHS.

The U.S. Department of Transportation reports, “Nationally, over the past 5 years, an average of 300 people died in drunk driving crashes the week between Christmas and New Year.  Alcohol-impaired fatalities make up more than a quarter of all crash fatalities.  In 2016, 781 people lost their lives in drunk-driving-related crashes in the month of December alone.”

Drunken driving-related crashes are 100 percent preventable.

Make a plan for a sober driver. Call an Uber, Lyft or taxi. Ask a friend to be a designated driver. If you’re hosting a party, take keys at the door to prevent your loved ones from making a tragic mistakes.

Celebrate the holidays however you choose. But do so responsibly.