Illinois Department of Transportation, Ann L. Schneider, Secretary
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 24, 2011

CONTACT:
Josh Kauffman (IDOT) 217.558.0517
Guy Tridgell (IDOT) 312.814.4693

IDOT Asks Motorists to Avoid Becoming an Impaired Driving Monster

Reveals Data Showing Alcohol Involvement in Recent Halloween Fatalities

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Transportation today reminded motorists that one of the most frightening things about Halloween is encountering an impaired driver. The message is simple…Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over! If your Halloween celebration includes alcohol, designate a sober driver to get you home safely. IDOT issued the reminder as it revealed data showing the role alcohol has played in traffic fatalities during the last seven years in Illinois.

“There isn’t a Halloween costume clever enough to hide a drunk driver who has made the dangerous decision to get behind the wheel,” said Acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider. “Law enforcement will be vigilant this Halloween keeping Illinois roadways safe for everyone.”

During the last seven years in Illinois (2004-2010), 25 individuals lost their lives and 2,018 were injured in 7,723 motor vehicle crashes occurring during Halloween. Of the 25 fatalities, 11 (44%) occurred in crashes that involved a driver who had been drinking. More recently, in the last three years, 12 people were killed in crashes on Halloween day with six of those deaths involving alcohol.

“The scariest parts of Halloween aren’t the spooky costumes and scary pranks. It is a fact that too often impaired drivers do not plan ahead and end up making the roads scarier than a horror show,” Acting Secretary Schneider continued. “This Halloween, designate a sober driver before you go out because if you do not, law enforcement will find you. In Illinois, you must Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”

Illinois Halloween* Motor Vehicle Fatalities
With Alcohol Involvement

 

Year

Total Fatalities

Alcohol-involved**

Percent Involving Alcohol

2004

5

4

80%

2005

3

0

0%

2006

3

0

0%

2007

2

1

50%

2008

4

2

50%

2009

3

1

33%

2010

5

3

60%

*October 31, midnight -11:59p.m.
**
Crash involving at least one driver who had a BAC of 0.01 or greater


 



 

 

 

 

 

Illinois Halloween* Motor Vehicle Crashes, Fatalities
And Injuries

 

Year

Total Crashes

Fatalities

Injuries

2004

990

5

246

2005

1,485

3

351

2006

1,303

3

372

2007

1,155

2

214

2008

1,344

4

396

2009

792

3

206

2010

654

5

233

  *October 31, midnight -11:59p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Impaired drivers who fail to plan ahead turn the roads into a real-life horror show. A few simple tips to avoid an impaired driving nightmare:

• Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin.
• Before drinking, designate a sober driver.
• If you are impaired, take a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation so you are sure to get home safely.
• Use your community’s Sober Rides program if available.
• If you happen to see an impaired driver on the road, do not hesitate to contact local law enforcement.

For more information about the Division of Traffic Safety’s impaired driving and safety campaigns, go to http://trafficsafety.illinois.gov.

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