KSP’s Santa campaign warns of drunken driving

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) -- Expect to see increased law enforcement presence on the roads as the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign runs Friday through New Year’s Day.

“While the holiday season is a special time to visit with friends and family, many of these celebrations include alcohol,” said Kentucky Office of Highway Safety Acting Executive Director Jason Siwula. “Drunken driving-related crashes are 100 percent preventable. All we ask is that drivers make a plan for a sober ride home.”

Images of Santa with the slogan, “He sees you when you’re drinking,” will be at gas stations, bars and restaurants in more than 60 Kentucky cities with higher-than-average drunken driving-related crashes. Additionally, digital and social media ads will also be featuring the iconic figure.

“The Santa campaign is a fun way to promote a serious message,” Siwula said. “No matter what you choose; a sober friend, taxi service or ride booking company; we want you to arrive to your destination safely.”

The Kentucky Office of Highway Safety is responsible for distributing the federal grants, which are provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to increase law enforcement presence during designated holiday periods. According to that federal agency, high-visibility enforcement like the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, reduces impaired driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent.

“While we always patrol for impaired drivers, we’ll have extra troopers on the road as motorists travel to and from their Christmas and New Year’s celebrations,” said Kentucky State Police Sgt. Josh Lawson. “Make no mistake—our message is simple. If you are caught driving impaired, you will be arrested. Please, make a plan for a designated driver before the party begins.”

In Kentucky, 22 drunk driving deaths occurred during Christmas and New Year’s over the last five years.

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