Illinois Department of Transportation, Ann L. Schneider, Secretary
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 25, 2012

CONTACT:
Josh Kauffman 217-558-0517
Mike Claffey 312-814-3957

IDOT: Halloween Masks Won’t Hide Drunk Driving

Law Enforcement to Crack Down on Impaired Drivers, Seat Belt Law Violators
 

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Illinois State Police today reiterated key traffic safety messages such as “please celebrate the holiday responsibly” and “keep the party off the road.” IDOT, law enforcement and safety advocates reminded Halloween participants that their holiday disguises will not make them invisible to police who are out looking for drunk drivers and seat belt law violators throughout the state. In addition, IDOT also encouraged motorists to practice safe driving behavior, and allow for a fun-filled weekend.

“The most frightening aspect of Halloween is not the daunting costumes or the chilling pranks, but rather the understanding that some Illinois drivers may still make the wrong choice to drive drunk this holiday weekend,” Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider said. “We strongly encourage all Halloween participants to designate a sober driver before leaving the house, and always buckle up and drive defensively.”

State Police and local law enforcement agencies will be extra vigilant on the roads leading up to Halloween, and will work diligently to boost traffic safety, arrest impaired drivers and ticket seat belt law violators.

Over the past eight years in Illinois (2004-2011), 31 individuals lost their lives and 2,261 were injured in 8,537 motor vehicle crashes occurring during Halloween. Of the 31 fatalities,
12 or 39 percent occurred in crashes that involved alcohol. Furthermore, in the last three years, 14 people were killed in crashes on Halloween day-five of those deaths involved alcohol. Last year, six people lost their lives in traffic crashes during Halloween and one of those deaths involved alcohol.

Illinois Motor Vehicle Fatalities
with Alcohol Involvement During Halloween

 

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%

2011

6

1

17%

  *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

1,304

3

372

2007

1,155

2

214

2008

1,344

4

396

2009

792

3

206

2010

654

5

233

2011

813

6

243

  *October 31, midnight -11:59p.m.


Motorists who plan on consuming alcohol for the holiday weekend can follow these simple tips to help avoid a drunk driving nightmare:

  • Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin.

  • Before drinking, designate a sober driver.

  • If you are drunk, 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 a drunk driver on the road, do not hesitate to contact local law enforcement.
     

For more information about the IDOT’s Traffic Safety campaigns, go to http://trafficsafety.illinois.gov.

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