The July 4th law enforcement action and new DUI
laws coincide with one of the year’s deadliest holiday driving seasons. During the 2003 Independence Day holiday,
514 motorists died nationwide in traffic crashes, 55 percent of those crashes
were alcohol-related. In Illinois, 27 people were killed in traffic
crashes. Annually in Illinois, over 40 percent of all traffic
crashes involve alcohol.
Fatalities in alcohol-related crashes are on the decline
nationally. In 2003, 16,653 people
were killed in alcohol-related crashes compared to 17,013 killed in 2002. That trend is mirrored in Illinois.
In 2003, 639 Illinois
motorist died in alcohol-related crashes compared to 648 in 2002.
“Alcohol-related fatalities are declining in our state,
thanks to Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s leadership on this issue, and we want to keep
it that way,” said Timothy W. Martin, Secretary of the Illinois Department of
Transportation (IDOT). “That is why IDOT initiated the largest impaired driving
enforcement effort of its kind. Our
goal is to ensure everyone has a happy and safe July 4th holiday and gets home
in one piece.”