While many look forward to the coming long weekend, making plans with family and friends to enjoy Labor Day, the Illinois Department of Transportation is reminding drivers to adhere to traffic laws. During the holiday weekend, Illinois law enforcement officers will increase their efforts to prevent and deter drunk driving and other safety violations.
The Illinois Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration refer to this campaign as “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.” Approximately 300 law enforcement agencies in Illinois and the state police will participate in the effort. The campaign will involve approximately 200 “roadside safety checks” and increased drunk driving patrols.
In Illinois, a motorist is considered under the influence of alcohol if his or her blood alcohol content is 0.8 or above. According to the president of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, ILACP, over 40 percent of Illinois traffic fatalities are caused by drunk drivers. In discussing recently enacted strengthened DUI laws signed by Governor Quinn, the president of ILACP stated, “Every 30 minutes, someone in America dies because of an impaired driver and every two minutes, someone is injured.”
The heightened enforcement efforts over the Labor Day weekend are meant to curb this dangerous and illegal behavior. According to the Illinois Transportation Secretary, “Research has shown high-visibility enforcement reduces drunk driving fatalities and increases seat belt usage. This campaign is about creating awareness, positively shaping motorist behavior and driving zero roadway fatalities in Illinois to reality.”
The agencies are hoping to improve on the fatality rate from 2010, where 298 people died in Illinois due to drunk drivers.
Source: CBS Chicago, “Police To Target Drunken Drivers Statewide During Labor Day Holiday,” John Cody, August 21, 2012.
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