Has the distinction of being the scene of the deadliest drunk driving crash in u-s history...when a wrong-way driver on the interstate hit a church bus in carrollton...killing 27 people...24 of them children.
Abc 36's monica harkins sits down with a lawyer who knows the effects of drinking and drving...not only from a legal standpoint... but a personal one.
Static sound effect vj voice "police say collins had a blood alcohol level of point two one one."
Tom on screen "police say he caused a bad accident in anderson county while driving under the influence.
Voice alexus "and if it could have been avoided to save three lives."
Hardly a week goes by without hearing about a suspected dui crash in the news.
"are you wililng to destroy the lives of people you don't even know."
Lexington lawyer bennett bayer...who serves as abc 36's legal counsel...says in his experience someone who gets a d-u-i after one too many at dinner is not the problem...it's someone who is well over the legal limit.
"there's a big difference between that person and the one who has so much to drink it is even difficult for them to drive their vehicle.
And those people are the most dangerous."
Bayer knows more than just the legal side of d-u-i's... four years ago his coworker and friend mark hinkel was hit and killed by a drunk driver while riding in a race.
Following his dea th kentucky law changed to extend its d-u-i look back law.
Something bayer says was a big step...instead of only looking back at someone's d-u-i record for five years the state would look back ten.
Meaning when a person got a fourth d-u-i in ten years it would be a felony.
"now you're going to prison.
In the 2019 general assembly..the governor signed a new expansion to d- u-i penalties..adding ignition interlock devices as an option for first time d-u-i offenders.
Bayer says even with the alcohol level lock on cars....the state isn't as strict as it could be.
"kentucky is not a tough state on people who drive under the influence, it's just not."
He says to see real change...society needs to step up.
"we have to change the mindset of people that it's not okay to see if you get home safe.
Once we get to the point that this no longer the norm then i think you're going to see the biggest change to dui in this state."
A mindset to set down your keys..before you get behind the wheel.
In lexington, monica harkins abc 36 news.
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