Master Trooper Joe Veeneman
Public Affairs Officer
Kentucky State Police
Post 8, Morehead
Click here to e-mail Master Trooper Joe Veeneman
Trooper McPhereson is honored for impaired driving enforcement
Date of News Release: 12/12/2011
(Morehead, Ky.) -- The Kentucky Office of Highway Safety (KOHS) today honored 201 law enforcement officers from 185 agencies across the Commonwealth for their efforts to target impaired drivers.
The 2011 Governor's Impaired Driving Enforcement Awards ceremony was held at the Embassy Suites hotel in Lexington. Awards were presented to officers with the most impaired driving arrests in each agency and division.
"Impaired driving is not an accident — it's an epidemic of careless disregard for human life," said KOHS Director Bill Bell, who presented the awards at the ceremony. "These officers, their departments and agencies render a great service for public safety by removing drunken and drugged drivers from our roads."
In Kentucky, more than 5,800 impaired crashes resulted in 154 deaths and more than 3,200 injuries in 2010.
"Public safety improves exponentially every time an impaired driver is removed from the roadway," Justice and Public Safety Secretary J. Michael Brown said. "Were it not for the actions of these men and women, there would undoubtedly be more accidents, injuries or worse on our streets and highways."
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), one out of every three Americans will be impacted by a drunken driving crash in their lifetime.
"The decision to drive impaired is not only illegal, but reckless and irresponsible behavior," said KSP Commissioner Rodney Brewer. "Law enforcement officers know that for every drunken driver that is removed from the road, it is potentially one less tragedy some family will have to face."
Trooper Mike McPhereson is recognized for his effective stance on reducing impaired driving. He is credited for 35 arrests. Trooper McPhereson is assigned to Post 8, Morehead. Standing with Trooper McPhereson on his left is Commissioner Brewer. Also present is Mr. Bill Bell, Director of Kentucky Office of Highway Safety.
Stephen and Karen Sikra spoke about the effects of surviving a drunken driving crash and thanked the officers for preventing other families from dealing with same physical and mental trauma.
"I never thought we'd be a statistic," said Karen. "But we are using our experience as an opportunity to help save lives by encouraging people to enjoy the holidays, but warning them to celebrate responsibly."
The Sikra family will be featured in two television public service announcements airing statewide during the holiday Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement campaign Dec. 16, 2011 through Jan. 2, 2012. This annual campaign is sponsored by NHTSA and the KOHS.