Extra officers will be patrolling roadways for New Year’s

Brittany Wise Reporter

December 30, 2013

Local and state police would like to remind area residents to be cautious while celebrating the New Year holiday.

Leitchfield Police Chief Kevin Henderson said that his department will be doubling their manpower on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day to patrol roadways and keep citizens safe.

“Don’t drink and drive,” Henderson said, adding that the past few years have seen relatively few alcohol-related accidents on the holiday, and he hopes that this year will be the same.

Kentucky State Police spokesman Trooper Paul Blanton said the agency will utilize all resources available in an effort to reduce loss of life on Kentucky roadways this New Year’s Eve.

“Law enforcement is preparing for the New Year’s Eve holiday, which is traditionally a time for festive events where people gather to ring in a new year. Many of these celebrations include the consumption of alcohol, lending way to the potential for impaired drivers on Kentucky roadways,” a recent KSP press release read.

Since the Thanksgiving holiday, KSP has been actively implementing the “Operation Holiday Lights” enforcement effort that includes nighttime seat belt enforcement and impaired driving crack downs.

Blanton urges friends and family members to take the keys away from anyone who consumes alcohol and arrange for them to be driven home.

“We know there are going to be holiday celebrations this time of year where alcohol will be consumed, so your best bet is to always designate a sober driver before the parties begin,” said Blanton.

The national New Years Eve holiday enforcement period begins Monday, December 30, 2013 at 6 p.m. and extends through January 1, 2014 at 11:59 p.m.

“Make no mistake, our message is simple. If you are caught driving impaired, you will be arrested. We will be out in force to take drunk drivers off the road - and save lives that might otherwise be lost,” Blanton said.

KSP established a toll-free number (1-800-222-5555) that citizens can call to report impaired or erratic drivers.