Illinois Department of Transportation, Ann L. Schneider, Secretary
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 22, 2011

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

Alcohol-Related Motor Vehicle Fatalities On the Decline in Illinois

IDOT Partners With Local Law Enforcement Agencies to Boost Safety, Crack Down on Impaired Drivers over Holiday Weekend

SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) today released crash data showing a continual reduction in the number of alcohol-impaired motor vehicle fatalities in Illinois from 2006 through 2010. The measure of alcohol impairment involves at least one driver with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher, or beyond the legal blood-alcohol limit in Illinois. IDOT and law enforcement agencies statewide are partnering this holiday season to boost safety and continue the fight against impaired driving.

“The reduction in impaired driving fatalities is due in large part to the team cooperation and dedication of IDOT, the Illinois State Police, and local law enforcement officers along with motorists who consistently comply with Illinois’ traffic safety laws,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider. “Even with these improvements, impaired drivers continue to wreak havoc and cause serious crashes and injuries on our roadways. This holiday season, the enforcement mobilization will continue to crack down on law violators and boost safety across the state.”

The Illinois State Police joins local law enforcement agencies throughout the state for the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over/Click It or Ticket holiday campaign. During the next two weeks, through New Year’s weekend, more than 200 local police and sheriff departments will partner with the Illinois State Police in conducting nearly 100 roadside safety checks, 400 safety belt enforcement zones (at least half of those during late-night hours) and hundreds of additional impaired driving and nighttime safety belt patrols. Motorists are advised that impaired driving or failure to buckle up will get them arrested or ticketed.

"Illinois State Police will continue to keep the roads safe during the holiday period. Officers will enforce the law and will implement several enforcement details, including roadside safety checks, saturation patrols, seat belt enforcement and other directed patrols," said Illinois State Police Deputy Director of Operations Colonel Mark Piccoli. "Officers will strictly enforce FATAL 4 moving violations and arrest impaired drivers."

According to data from IDOT and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of motor vehicle fatalities involving an impaired driver declined steadily from 2006 through 2010. The greatest reduction in impaired driving fatalities took place between 2007 and 2008, with a decline of 83 fatalities, a reduction of about 19 percent. This positive trend continued through 2009 and 2010, with impaired driving fatalities declining by 15 fatalities or 5 percent overall. In addition, 298 impaired driving fatalities occurred in 2010, representing a 33 percent reduction compared to 2006, when the total was 446.

Illinois Impaired Driving Motor Vehicle Fatalities

Year

Total Fatalities in all Crashes

Impaired Driving Fatalities

Number

Percent of Total Fatalities

2006

1,254

446

36

2007

1,248

439

35

2008

1,043

356

34

2009

911

313

34

2010

927

298

32

For more information about impaired driving in Illinois, visit www.drivesoberillinois.org.

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