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The holiday season is upon us and if you’re celebrating with a drink, the Lombard Police Department has a message for you: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.
Due to the increase in drunk driving-related fatalities around the holidays each year, law enforcement agencies across America will be actively searching for and arresting drunk drivers from and into the New Year.
Seat belt law violators will also be a focus as far too many still die because they failed to take the simple step of buckling up every time they get in a vehicle.
“It’s time for all drivers to get the message,” said Lombard Police Chief Raymond Byrne. “Drunk driving is a choice you make, and when you make that choice, people get hurt or die. That’s why we’re joining with the Illinois Department of Transportation, the Illinois State Police and law enforcement throughout Illinois and the nation to share the message: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”
Traffic Safety Unit Officer Paula Rojas said, “The safest way to get home is to drive sober or catch a ride with a sober designated driver. All it takes is a little planning. If you plan on drinking at a holiday party or at a restaurant, plan ahead and hand the keys over to a sober friend, call a taxi, or take public transportation.”
In addition, seat belt law violators will receive a ticket – no exceptions. Click It or Ticket applies to the back seat, too. Illinois law says you have to buckle up, no matter where you’re sitting.
In 2013, 10,076 people were killed in drunk driving crashes in the U.S., almost a third of all traffic fatalities. Of the 10,076 people who were killed in impaired driving crashes in 2013, 65 percent were the drunk drivers themselves. Those 6,515 drunk drivers planned on making it to their destinations, but they didn’t.
“We can’t stand to see this tragic loss of life again and again,” added Rojas. “The hardest part of the job is making that house call and telling a family that their loved one is gone because someone chose to drink and drive. That’s why we will show zero tolerance for drunk drivers on the road. Please find a safe and sober ride home.”
Lombard drivers, please follow these tips to keep the holidays safe and happy: • Even one drink can impair your judgment and increase the risk of getting arrested for driving drunk – or worse, the risk of having a crash. • If you will be drinking, plan ahead; designate a sober driver before the party begins. Don’t drive.• If you have been drinking, do not drive. Call a taxi, phone a sober friend or family member or use public transportation.
The recent law enforcement crackdown is coordinated by the Illinois Department of Transportation as part of the statewide Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over and Click It or Ticket campaigns.