LMPD, Commonwealth Atty. join forces to stop drunk, drugged drivers


by Andy Treinen


Posted on May 14, 2014 at 11:59 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11)-- Drunk and drugged drivers are killing a greater percentage of crash victims in Metro Louisville than any other time in recent years and LMPD wants it to stop

They are the scenes no officer wants to respond to. In 2014, 23 people have already lost their lives in automobile collisions in Metro Louisville. LMPD Sgt. Kevin Hamlin said far too many have been caused by drugs or alcohol.

In trying to make sense of “senseless death” LMPD tracks, and charts every case, but the cause has caused alarm.

State wide about 20 percent of accidents are caused by impaired drivers.  In Metro Louisville the average is around 26 percent.

But this year 40 percent of our deaths on the road have drugs or alcohol as contributing factors.

Sometimes it's a drunk driver, sometimes it's an impaired pedestrian hit and killed crossing the road, but every time police come back to their board it's with a sense of responsibility.

Hamlin has seen more than his fair share of fatal accidents. He said driving between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. is the most dangerous. He also added there is a very clear reason there are so many fatal motorcycle crashes overnight.

“One out of three motorcyclists operating at night are operating impaired,” Hamlin said.

Impaired driving was a factor on March 11th when 22-year-old Christopher Walker and 21-year-old Kendra Crawford lost their lives around 1 a.m. in a motorcycle accident off Blankenbaker Parkway.

And at 7 p.m. on the evening of April 17, 2014, when police said Edward Pearce was high on heroine and rolled over 5-year-old Benjamin Clem in PRP and kept going.

Pearce was arrested with fresh blood on his arm and a needle in his back pocket moments later.

Police are now putting more officers on the street to pull over and arrest impaired drivers. LMPD ask that if people see a suspected drunk driver to call and they'll respond immediately. 

Police believe that arrest is the best possible consequence for people who make the choice to drive impaired. And they have the numbers to back it up.

Police said the Commonwealth Attorney's Office is now partnering with them to convict drunk drivers, sometimes even coming to the scene on high profile cases to sign search warrants... Approve blood samples and to make sure proper proceedure is followed..