Police in St. Charles and Campton Hills are on the lookout for drunken drivers and seat belt scofflaws as part of a special safety enforcement effort leading up to the Labor Day holiday.
Both departments issued releases on Friday announcing their participation in the Illinois Department of Transportation’s sustained traffic enforcement program for fiscal 2013, which includes the Labor Day enforcement push that began Friday, Aug. 16, 2013.
The two departments said they would be out in force through Sept. 2 in an effort to reduce vehicle crashes and resulting injuries and fatalities. The push is part of the Click It or Ticket/Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over effort.
Campton Hills Police Chief Dan Hoffman said their officers will be looking aggressively for drunken drivers during the crackdown and will arrest anyone caught driving drunk. In addition, seat belt law violators will be ticketed.
The campaign’s twofold focus aims to discourage people from drinking and driving, and to buckle up before driving — a safety step that, along with securing child safety seats and booster seats, takes just seconds. Driving without your seat belt could cost you a ticket, but authorities say at worst, it could cost you your life.
And while a 0.08 blood-alcohol concentration is the limit in all 50 States, far too many people across the nation get behind the wheel after consuming too much alcohol. The latest statistics underscore the serious nature of the nation’s continuing drunk driving epidemic.
“Every year in Illinois, about one-third of all motor vehicle traffic deaths involve one or more drunk drivers or motorcycle operators,” said Hoffman, adding that holidays such as Labor Day are particularly dangerous.
“Research has shown that high-visibility enforcement like the 'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over' campaign reduces drunk-driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent,” Hoffman said. “By joining this effort, we will help make Campton Hills’ roads safer for everyone throughout the Labor Day period.”
“We want to remind everyone that getting behind the wheel drunk is a terrible idea,” Hoffman said. “Unfortunately, not only does drinking impair your ability to operate a vehicle safely, it also impairs your judgment and good sense about whether you can, or should drive.
“If you have any doubt about your sobriety, do not get behind the wheel.” he said. “If you do choose to drive impaired, you will be arrested. No warnings. No excuses.”
The St. Charles Police Department said plan ahead for your holiday get-togethers. Designate a sober driver before going out and give that person your keys. If you are drunk, call a taxi, use mass transit or call a sober friend or family member to get you home safely.
Promptly report drunken drivers you see on the roadways to law enforcement by pulling over and dialing 911. Make sure everyone in your vehicle wears their seat belt. It is your best defense against a drunken driver
“Driving drunk is simply not worth the risk. So don’t take the chance. Remember, we will be out in force and we will be watching, so ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,’” said Chief Hoffman
The law enforcement crackdown is funded by federal traffic safety funds through the Illinois Department of Transportation.
Learn more about the Click It or Ticket and the Drive Sober Get Pulled Over.
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