Local police agencies will be on the watch for drunk drivers throughout the new year holiday.
The awareness for drunk driving was further increased after the fatal Knox County wreck that claimed the lives of five people on Christmas Eve, including a family of four from Harlan County and Bradenton, Fla.
Each local police agency — Pineville Police Department, Middlesboro Police Department and the Bell County Sheriff’s Department — plan to increase patrol throughout the new year holiday in an attempt to limit drunk and impaired driving.
Pineville Police Chief Bill Matthews stated his crew will be patrolling along U.S. 25E more than normal during the holiday, as well as setting up roadblocks throughout the New Year’s Eve night and into the early morning.
Middlesboro Police Chief Jeff Sharpe stated there will also be an increase in patrols inside Middlesboro city limits.
“We will be out there,” stated Sharpe.
Bell County Sheriff Bruce Bennett stated all of his men will be on patrol New Year’s Eve night and New Year’s Day.
“We will increase patrol as much as we can,” said Bennett.
Each of the local agencies agree there has been a decrease in drunk driving violations during the holidays due to stepped up patrols and public awareness of the dangers of drinking and driving while impaired.
“(Drunk driving) is not nearly the problem it was 30 years ago,” said Sharpe.
According to reports for surfky.com, there were six people killed in Kentucky over the New Year’s Eve holiday last year. There were 1,314 crashes reported for that time frame, with 63 of those involving alcohol.