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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 2, 2009
 


Contact:


Marisa Kollias 312.814.4693 (IDOT)
Paris Ervin 217-558-0517 (IDOT)

Illinois law enforcement begins You Drink & Drive. You Lose. July 4th crackdown on impaired drivers

IDOT, Illinois State Police and Illinois law enforcement step up patrols during deadly late-night hours

Chicago – Illinois law enforcement today announced the July 4th You Drink & Drive. You Lose crackdown on impaired drivers as new data shows an overwhelming number of late-night motor vehicle fatalities involve a drinking driver. This July 4th motorists and hundreds of Illinois law enforcement agencies will join the Illinois State Police in conducting numerous additional, late-night roadside safety checks, impaired driving patrols and safety belt enforcement zones.

“We must decrease the number of crashes occurring on IL roadways, particularly at night, but we need help from the motoring public,” said IDOT Secretary Gary Hannig. “Data shows a very disproportionate number of fatal traffic crashes on Illinois roads occur late at night, and a very high percentage of these fatalities involve alcohol and motorists who have failed to buckle up. “Take our advice, it could save a life.”

According to data from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the midnight to 3:00 am timeframe is the deadliest time on Illinois roads. In addition, the data also shows this time of day has the highest percentage of alcohol involvement and the lowest safety belt use. For the last 4 years (2005-2008), 54 percent of the drivers involved in fatal crashes from midnight to 3:00 am had been drinking. The next-highest time frame for drinking drivers involved in fatal crashes was 3:00 am to 5:59 am at 41 percent.

“Impaired driving and failure to wear a seat belt are the two leading causes of death in motor vehicle crashes at night,” stated Deputy Regional Administrator of Region 5 NHTSA Office John Balser. “We believe that dual focus of seat belt and impaired driving enforcement can further reduce traffic death and injuries on Illinois roadways this 4th of July weekend.”

“The sad reality is that numerous lives are impacted every day in Illinois because of an impaired driver,” Illinois State Police Director Jonathon Monken said. “Even with the raised awareness about the consequences of drinking and driving, there are still those who choose to drive while impaired. That's why the ISP will increase our enforcement efforts by working closely with our local partners during the July 4th holiday.”

The You Drink & Drive. You Lose crackdown began June 19 and runs through July 5. 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 the impaired driving in Illinois, please visit www.drivesoberillinois.org.

Percentage of Drivers Involved in Fatal Crashes Who Had Been Drinking
By Time of Day*


 

Year

Midnight-2:59am

3:00am-5:59am

6:00am-8:59am

9:00am-11:59am

Noon-2:59am

3:00pm-5:59pm

6:00pm-8:59pm

9:00pm-11:59pm

2005

50%

35%

9%

8%

8%

10%

18%

31%

2006

56%

47%

9%

4%

11%

10%

28%

34%

2007

54%

44%

9%

5%

9%

12%

26%

37%

2008

55%

40%

11%

7%

3%

13%

25%

38%

2005-2008

54%

41%

10%

6%

8%

11%

24%

35%

                 

*Percentage of drivers involved in fatal crashes for the specified time period who had a BAC of 0.01 or greater

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