Alcohol and drug related crashes continue to be one of the highest priority problem identification areas and considerable emphasis is being placed on programs to impact those types of crashes. Various types of campaigns have been used over the years in an attempt to reduce the number of alcohol-related crashes. Kentucky was selected within the Southeast Region of the United States by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to conduct a comprehensive impaired driving campaign entitled “You Drink & Drive. You Lose”. The campaign was conducted around the 2002 Labor Day holiday. The objective of this report was to document the results of the “You Drink & Drive. You Lose” campaign in Kentucky.

The evaluation of the campaign included documenting the activities associated with the program (publicity and enforcement) and evaluating the results. The evaluation included comparing crash data during the campaign with data for the same time period in previous years, summarizing the number of arrests and other enforcement activities, telephone surveys of drivers taken before and after the campaign, written motorist questionnaires obtained at driver licensing locations and high schools before and after the campaign, and summarizing the types of publicity.

Two types of comparisons were made between crash data around Labor Day in 2002 with the previous three years. The first set of data used single vehicle crashes occurring between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. This type of crash has been used as a surrogate for alcohol crashes. The number of crashes in 2002 was 14 percent lower than the average of the three previous years with the number of injuries and fatalities occurring in these crashes 21 percent lower. The second comparison was the number of crashes in which either alcohol or drugs were listed as a contributing factor or it was noted that a driver was suspected of drinking. The number of these crashes in 2002 was 9 percent lower than the average of the three previous years with the number of injuries and fatalities in these crashes 5 percent lower.

The publicity did result in an increase in the percentage of drivers who were aware of this program and resulted in a significant increase in drivers who had heard of specific details of the campaign. The surveys did not find a change in self-reported behavior or perceived additional risk of arrest for driving after drinking. The survey at the circuit clerk offices and high schools also found that drivers were more aware of the use of checkpoints for identifying impaired drivers. The surveys support increased enforcement and additional penalties for the use of alcohol while driving. The most common source of information about the campaign was through television.

Report Date


Report Number


Digital Object Identifier



The contents of this report reflect the views of the authors who are responsible for the facts and accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the University of Kentucky or the Kentucky State Police. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. The inclusion of manufacturer names or trade names are for identification purposes and are not considered as endorsements.