Trooper Brad Arterburn
Public Affairs Officer
Kentucky State Police
Post 5, Campbellsburg
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KSP Friday Night Blue Light Enforcement Campaign
Date of News Release: 08/29/2008
(Campbellsburg, KY) - I am writing to express my concern for teens that have headed back to school this fall that may be exposed to the dangers of alcohol and underage drinking.
As a Kentucky State Trooper, I see first-hand the destruction that underage drinking has on our youth. One of the hardest tasks for any law enforcement officer is to notify a parent that their teen has been fatally injured due to an alcohol-related circumstance.
In 2007, Kentucky law enforcement made 3,108 Driving Under the Influence (DUI) arrests for persons between the ages of 16 and 19. In addition to those, there were 177 second offense, 20 third offense and 27 fourth offense underage DUI arrests in the Commonwealth. There were 786 arrests for possession of alcohol by a minor. Sadly enough, 40% of Kentucky teens say they get their alcohol from a family member or from their own home.
Here are the local statistics from the six counties that make up the Post 5 area, (Oldham, Trimble, Henry, Carroll, Gallatin and Owen Counties):
2007: (Post 5 Area):
Teen (16-19) 555 total crashes, resulting in 196 injuries and 4 fatals
All drivers: 2607 crashes, 848 injuries, 38 fatals
Under Age Drinking arrests: 54
21% percent of all crashes in Post 5 area involve teen drivers
2006: (Post 5 Area):
Teen (16-19) 601 total crashes, resulting in 232 injuries and 3 fatals
All drivers: 2672 crashes, 932 injuries, and 13 fatals
Underage drinking arrests: 53
23% percent of all crashes in Post 5 area involved teens
The 2006 Kentucky Incentives for Prevention (KIP) Survey indicated that 33% of high school seniors say they had been drunk in the past thirty days. Twenty-five percent indicated that they had participated binge-drinking in the past two weeks. Nationally, 5,000 teens die each year from alcohol-related deaths.
Friday nights in Kentucky have become synonymous with high school football, stadium lights, marching bands and zealous fans. With that come increased traffic and post game celebrations. In past years, the highest number of collisions occurred in September and October - specifically on Fridays during the evening hours. For this reason, Kentucky State Police will conduct the 'Friday Night Blue Lights' enforcement campaign that targets speed, seat belt and alcohol violations with an emphasis on underage drinking in and around football venues. In addition to road safety checks and saturation patrols in these areas, KSP will conduct educational programs in high schools and have a presence during high school football games. KSP is mailing out 'Friday Night Blue Light' campaign information to Kentucky high schools to help promote safe driving and the prevention of underage drinking.
Many schools came on board last year with this program and we anticipate more will this football season. We ask that everyone be diligent in reporting impaired drivers and underage drinking. Most importantly, if you are a parent, please talk with your teen about the dangers of underage drinking. For more information about the 'Friday Night Blue Lights' program, please contact your local post at (502) 532-6363.
KSP has established a toll free number that citizens can use to report impaired driving or underage drinking at 1-800-222-5555 (in the state of Kentucky only, does not work out of state).
Captain Dean Hayes
Kentucky State Police
Campbellsburg, Post 5
160 Citation Lane
Campbellsburg, Kentucky 40011