IDOT, ISP, Secretary of State Police team with local
police to step up alcohol enforcement for St. Patrick’s Day
100 details planned to curb impaired driving for third
year in a row
SPRINGFIELD — Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) Acting Secretary
Milt Sees and Illinois State Police (ISP) Director Larry Trent announced that
IDOT, ISP and the Secretary of State Police are teaming up with local police
agencies throughout the state to urge the public to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day
safely this weekend. The agencies issued the notice today as they gear up for a
major enforcement effort for the third year in a row.
“Unfortunately, in recent years we’ve seen an increase in the number of
people killed in highway crashes on St. Patrick’s Day,” Acting Secretary Sees
said. “That is why for the last three years, IDOT and the Illinois State Police
have worked with local law enforcement agencies across the state in a
coordinated effort to stop underage drinking and to take impaired drivers off
Because St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Saturday this year, law enforcement will
be working even harder to get drunk drivers off the road. This year IDOT, ISP
and the Secretary of States Police will join 65 police agencies and sheriff’s
departments from around Illinois in stepping up efforts to spot and arrest
impaired drivers leading up to and on St. Patrick’s Day. Since 1994, crash
deaths on St. Patrick’s Day have continued to rise, from one in 1994 to eight in
2004 and six in 2005. Illinois’ annual average is less than four crash
fatalities a day.
“Illinois law enforcement officers are committed to keeping impaired drivers
off the roads and preventing alcohol-related tragedies year round,” ISP Director
Larry Trent said. “So that we can hopefully prevent tragedies and our citizens
arrive home safely, we'll be increasing our efforts during the St. Patrick's Day
celebrations. If you are going to celebrate by drinking, don’t take any chances.
Designate a driver and make the celebration safe for everyone.”
At least 65 police agencies will be conducting 100 roadside safety checks as
part of the St. Patrick’s Day mobilization, specifically focused on getting
impaired drivers off the road. On March 16 and 17, the Illinois State Police
will have 30 roadside checks in districts around Illinois. In the days leading
up to St. Patrick’s Day, police around the state will conduct Alcohol
Countermeasure Enforcement (ACE) details, including sting operations at bars and
package liquor stores, aimed at stopping underage drinking before it starts.
IDOT’s Division of Traffic Safety is funding the crackdown and a media
awareness campaign with $279,000, of which $100,000 is for radio ads and
$179,000 to help police agencies cover overtime related to the effort.