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St. Charles Police: You Drink, You Drive, You Lose

Expect officers to be out in force tonight, thank to the Click It or Ticket/Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign.

St. Charles police, who since Dec. 17 have been out in force conducting DUI and seat belt enforcement, are bracing for what could unfold into their busiest night of the year to night as residents join people around the world in saying goodbye to 2012 and hello to 2013.

The effort is in conjunction with the Illinois Department of Transportation’s Sustained Traffic Enforcement Program called Click It or Ticket/Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, according to a release. The St. Charles Police Department is continuing its support of the Sustained Traffic Enforcement Program for fiscal 2013.

In its release, the department is reminding motorists to fasten their seat belts over the New Year’s holiday period or run the risk of receiving a ticket.

The objective of the Sustained Traffic Enforcement Program is to use increased highly visible enforcement of occupant restraint, impaired driving, speed and pedestrian safety to reduce the incidence of motor vehicle crashes and the resulting injuries and fatalities, the release states.

In Illinois, the release states that during the 2011 Christmas and New Year’s holiday period, 22 vehicle occupants died in vehicle traffic crashes, with eight of those deaths involving a drinking driver; in addition more than 1,000 individuals were injured. In St. Charles, officers made zero DUI arrests but issued 31 citations for other traffic violations.

Fastening a seat belt takes only a second or two, and costs you nothing. Not wearing a seat belt, especially during this holiday period, definitely will cost you a ticket at the very least, or even worse, your life.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, seat belt use is the single most effective way to protect people and reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes. The goals of the STEP Program are to reduce the number of severe injury and fatal traffic crashes, to achieve a higher use of safety belts, child safety seats and booster seats and to achieve a lower incidence of impaired driving involved injuries and fatalities, the release states.

Prevailing research indicates the proper use of lap and shoulder belts reduces the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passenger car occupants by 45 percent, and cuts the risk of moderate to serious injury by 50 percent, the release states.

In its release, the St. Charles Police Department notes it wants all drivers to Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over and all vehicle occupants to Click It or Ticket all day and all night.

For more information about the Click It or Ticket and the Drive Sober Get Pulled Over programs, please visit www.buckleupillinois.org.

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