Illinois law enforcement out in force this
July 4th weekend
IDOT, Illinois State Police, Illinois
Department of Natural Resources and local law enforcement
agencies step up fight against impaired driving
CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT),
the Illinois State Police (ISP), the Illinois Department of
Natural Resources (IDNR) and hundreds of local Illinois law
enforcement agencies today reminded motorists to drive sober or
risk arrest this July 4th weekend. Gathered at recreational
waterfront sites in 4 cities across the state, law enforcement
announced they will be conducting late-night roadside safety
checks, impaired driving patrols and safety belt enforcement
zones in an effort to reduce traffic fatalities and injuries
over the holiday weekend.
Data shows during last year’s 4th of July weekend (from 6 p.m.
July 2 until midnight July 5) 13 people lost their lives in
motor vehicle crashes and 5 of those fatalities involved a
drinking driver. Additionally, 813 people were injured during
the July 4th weekend last year.
In the last five years, during the summer months of June
through August in Illinois, 101 of the 163 fatalities occurring
between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. involved a drinking driver. That is 62
percent of the fatalities taking place at that time. The
next-highest timeframe was midnight to 3 a.m. at 59 percent.
Compounding the problem is the fact that motorists buckle up
at lower rates during late-night hours than daytime hours.
“July 4th is a great time of celebration for our country, but
too often, those celebrations can turn deadly because of
impaired driving and a failure to buckle up,” said IDOT
Secretary Gary Hannig. “That is why IDOT is working with
Illinois law enforcement to remind motorists to designate a
sober driver before celebrating. If you don’t and you choose to
drink and drive, you will be arrested.”
“Holiday weekends provide a great opportunity for family and
friends to gather and celebrate, but the festivities are often
short-lived when someone chooses to drive impaired,” said ISP
Acting Director Jonathon Monken. "Our goal is to make the roads
safer by taking a zero-tolerance approach when it comes to
impaired drivers. To help us accomplish this goal, we encourage
motorists to designate a sober driver and wear their safety
“Alcohol use is one of the leading factors in fatal recreational
boating accidents nationwide. Our Conservation Police Officers
work very hard to make sure Illinois public waters are safe for
everyone to enjoy. We certainly want people to have a good time
on the water but we have zero tolerance for anyone found
operating a boat under the influence,” added IDNR Director Marc
IDOT recommends that motorists should always designate a sober
driver and should also restrict friends and family members from
driving impaired. These two recommendations are just two of
several simple steps to avoid a tragic crash or an impaired
driving arrest this July 4th. Other important tips include:
- Plan ahead. Designate a sober driver before going out
and give that person your keys.
- If you are impaired, call a taxi, use mass transit or
call a sober friend or family member to get you home safely.
- Use your community’s designated driver program.
- Promptly report impaired drivers you see on the roadways
to law enforcement by pulling over and dialing 911.
- Make sure everyone in your vehicle wears their safety
belt. It is your best defense against an impaired driver.
The You Drink & Drive. You Lose crackdown began June 18 and
runs through July 4. It is being supported by nearly $1 million
in federal safety funds being made available by IDOT’s Division
of Traffic Safety. For more information about impaired driving
in Illinois, please visit