The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), the Illinois State Police (ISP) and nearly 200 local Illinois law enforcement agencies are urging motorists to “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” this Labor Day weekend. Police will be out in force in an effort to reduce traffic fatalities and injuries during the heavily-traveled holiday. They will be conducting roadside safety checks, impaired-driving patrols and seat-belt enforcement zones.
“A high number of fatal traffic crashes on Illinois roads occur late at night, with an unacceptable amount involving drinking and motorists failing to buckle up, especially during the busy holiday travel periods,” said Priscilla Tobias, director of IDOT’s Office of Program Development. “Please, if you are on the road over the Labor Day weekend, drive sober and buckle up.”
Statistics show during last year’s Labor Day weekend (from 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 4, until 11:59 p.m. Monday, Sept. 7) 13 people lost their lives in crashes. Three of those fatalities involved a driver who tested positive for alcohol in their system.
“State police will be out in force with local law enforcement to get drunk drivers off the road during the Labor Day weekend,” said ISP Col. Tad Williams. “Troopers will show zero tolerance for impaired driving and seat belt law violators. Designate a driver before going out, and always buckle up.”
Here are some important safety tips:
· Designate a sober driver before going out and give that person your keys.
· Use your community’s designated driver program.
· If you are with someone who is impaired, do not let them drive.
· If you are impaired: Call a taxi, use mass transit or call a sober friend or family member to get you home safely.
· Promptly report impaired drivers, pull over to a safe location and dial 911.
· Make sure everyone in your vehicle wears a seat belt.
The “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” Labor Day crackdown began Monday, Aug. 22, and continues through the early morning hours of Tuesday, Sept. 6. It is administered by IDOT and supported by ISP local law enforcement agencies throughout Illinois.