Cowan, Williams honored for impaired driving enforcement

Special to the Daily News

December 5, 2013

FRANKFORT – The Kentucky Office of Highway Safety (KOHS) recently honored 206 law enforcement officers from 174 agencies across the Commonwealth for their efforts to target impaired drivers.

The 2013 Governor’s Impaired Driving Enforcement Awards ceremony was held at the Marriott Louisville East. Awards were presented to officers with the most impaired driving arrests in each agency and division.

Jason Williams of the Pineville Police Department and Barry Cowan from the Middlesboro Police Department were two local officers honored at the award ceremony. Williams made 22 DUI arrest, and Cowan made 66 DUI arrest.

“Impaired driving is not an accident — it’s an epidemic of careless disregard for human life,” KOHS Director Bill Bell said. “These officers, their departments and agencies render a great service for public safety by removing drunken and drugged drivers from our roads.”

Last year, Kentucky recorded more than 5,750 alcohol-related crashes, resulting in 146 deaths and more than 3,000 injuries.

“Public safety improves exponentially every time an impaired driver is removed from the roadway,” Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rodney Brewer said. “Were it not for the actions of these men and women, there would undoubtedly be more crashes, injuries or worse on our roadways.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), one in three Americans will be impacted by a drunken driving crash in their lifetime.

John Boel, news anchor with WAVE3 News in Louisville and author of “On The News, In The News,” spoke about his struggle with alcoholism and his two DUI arrests.

“In recovery, I’ve learned something from everyone who has shared with me,” Boel said. “I hope the lessons I’ve learned and experienced will be of value to these officers as they continue their important work.”

To raise awareness of the dangers of impaired driving and to alert the public of an increased enforcement presence during the holidays, the annual “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign will begin Dec. 13 and run through Jan. 1. This campaign is sponsored by NHTSA and the KOHS.

For more information, visit the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” Campaign Headquarters at www.nhtsa.gov/drivesober.