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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 1, 2010
 


Contact:

Josh Kauffman (IDOT) 217/558.0517
Scott Compton (ISP) 217/782.6637

Illinois Law Enforcement Increase Number of Late-Night Patrols Against Impaired Driving and Safety Belt Violators Over Labor Day Weekend

Crackdown Merges Click It or Ticket and You Drink & Drive. You Lose. Messages

SPRINGFIELD –Officials from the Illinois Department of Transportation, state, county and local law enforcement agencies teamed up today to announce an increase of enforcement against impaired driving and safety belt law violators taking place over the Labor Day weekend. Starting today and running through the holiday weekend, late-night motorists will see hundreds of roadside safety checks and enforcement patrols in search of impaired drivers and safety belt law violators. The Illinois State Police joined over 300 law enforcement agencies across the state on August 20th to start the intensive crackdown on impaired driving known as, You Drink & Drive. You Lose.

The announcement for stepped-up enforcement over the Labor Day weekend comes as Illinois merges the successful You Drink & Drive. You Lose. and Click It or Ticket messages for the first time. The reason for this is the tragic nighttime connection between the prevalence of drinking and driving and the lack of safety belt usage. According to data from IDOT’s Division of Traffic Safety, late-night hours are when the highest percentage of motorists are killed in alcohol-involved crashes and when the lowest percentage of vehicle occupants are properly restrained by a safety belt or child restraint.

“IDOT is committed to the fight against impaired driving and safety belt law violators in Illinois,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Gary Hannig. “We applaud the dedication and diligence of Illinois law enforcement agencies and their staff for merging efforts to help curb impaired driving and to ensure Illinois motorists are buckling up. If a motorist is driving unbelted or impaired, expect to get caught.”

In 2009 in Illinois, nearly eight out of ten (79 percent) motor vehicle fatalities occurring between midnight and 3 a.m. involved a drinking driver, and less than three out of ten (25 percent) of those who died in crashes during this time were properly restrained by a safety belt or child restraint. The picture is completely different during the higher-traffic, daytime hours of 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. with less than two out of ten fatalities (16 percent) involving alcohol andnearly six out of ten (58 percent) properly restrained.

"The Illinois State Police and local law enforcement agencies will be partnering with the Illinois Department of Transportation to conduct numerous enforcement details throughout the weekend," said Acting Illinois State Police Director Jonathon Monken. "Our goal is to improve safety on Illinois roadways by increasing seat belt usage and decreasing the number of drunk drivers. A motorist stopped for a seat belt violation will receive a citation, and drunk drivers can expect to spend the holiday in jail.”

For more information about the Impaired Driving Program in Illinois, please visit www.drivesoberillinois.org.

Illinois 2009 Motor Vehicle Fatalities
with Alcohol Involvement* and Safety Belt Use

Time of Day

Total Fatalities

Percent Involving Alcohol

Percent of Vehicle Occupants Properly Restrained

Midnight-2:59am

131

79%

25%

3:00am-5:59am

92

65%

37%

6:00am-8:59am

87

24%

42%

9:00am-11:59am

103

9%

68%

Noon-2:59am

103

10%

68%

3:00pm-5:59pm

149

22%

55%

6:00pm-8:59pm

120

25%

47%

9:00pm-11:59pm

126

51%

40%

*Crash involving at least one driver who had a BAC of 0.01 or greater

 

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