Designated Drivers Becoming Heroes

Reported by: Melanie Kendall
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Updated: 9/27/2013 11:56 pm

Alcohol is involved in more than 20% of all deaths on the road.  Kentucky State Police are teaming up with local bars and restaurants in a new program to get people who will be out drinking to make sure they have a designated driver.

“Just drinking and driving, ever so slightly impacts your ability to react effectively to avoid a wreck from happening, to avoid killing someone else or yourself,” said Sgt. Rick Saint-Blancard with Kentucky State Police.

KSP is signing up designated drivers with the HERO Campaign and focusing on prevention to keep drunk drivers off roads.

“We want people to think about what they're doing, and know that their life is very valuable and very unique and you don't get it back,” said Saint-Blancard.

Kentucky fatalities to date:

2013 - 471
2012 - 539
2011 - 527

Between October 2011 and September 2012 there were 5,287 collisions in Kentucky involving the suspected use of alcohol resulting in 2,541 injuries and 129 fatalities.  Between October 2012 and September 2013 there have been 4,867 collisions involving the suspected use of alcohol with 2,336 injuries and 117 fatalities.

In Fayette Count, between October 2011 and September 2012, there were 568 collisions with 186 injuries and six fatalities involving the suspected use of alcohol. There were 543 collisions with 211 injuries and two fatalities from October 2012 through September 2013 involving the suspected use of alcohol. 

Statewide arrests for DUI from October 2012 through September 2013 were 25,100 resulting in 78,983 charges.

The HERO Campaign's mission is to end drunk-driving fatalities, injuries and accidents nationwide by promoting designated driving and reminding the public to drive sober.

 “Restaurants and bars and the Kentucky State Police have to shoulder the burden to help society remember, you've got to make good choices and that's what this program is about, it's about making good choices,” said Jason Morgan, owner of JDI Grille and Tavern, a restaurant participating in the HERO Campaign.

HERO Campaign partners will be asked to participate and support Kentucky HEROES in the following ways.

1. Bar and Tavern Owners

  • Sign the HERO Campaign pledge
  • Display HERO Campaign posters and promotional materials
  • Serve free soft drinks and non-alcoholic beverages to designated drivers
  • Work with HERO Campaign partners to promote the campaign in their communities and register designated driver heroes

2. Alcoholic Beverage Distillers and Distributors

  • Distribute posters and brochures to bar owners
  • Encourage bar, tavern and liquor store participation

3. Package Good Stores

  • Display Kentucky HEROES promotional materials
  • Sell HERO bracelets as fund raisers

4. Law enforcement

  • Promote Kentucky HEROES at DUI Stops
  • Pass out Kentucky HEROES materials at highway safety forums

5. Division of Highway Safety, NHTSA and Division of ABC 

  • Help with public relations
  • Recruit bar and tavern owners

6. State and County Government

  • Pass resolutions endorsing Kentucky HEROES

7. Municipal Police

  • Promote campaign to bar and tavern owners.  Nominate outstanding HERO bars and taverns for positive recognition

8. Colleges

  • Support Kentucky HEROES partners in their counties
  • Promote the HERO Campaign on their campuses

The HERO Campaign was established by the family of U.S. Navy Ensign John Elliot who was killed in 2000 in a head-on collision with a drunk driver. 

For more information on the HERO Campaign, visit http://kentuckyheros.org/ .



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