|Illinois State Police (ISP) Director Larry Trent and Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) Acting Secretary Milt Sees today announced an aggressive $1 million enforcement and education effort aimed at keeping impaired drivers off the roads. The campaign that will be carried out over a two week period around the 2007 Fourth of July Holiday. |
ISP and 172 local police partners plan to carry out 230 Roadside Safety Checks and 87 of those local police agencies plan Saturation Patrols from June 25 through July 8. The law enforcement crackdown is backed by funding from IDOT’s Division of Traffic Safety and is coupled with a media campaign that will remind motorists: “You Drink & Drive. You Lose.” The Illinois chapter of MADD is also helping to educate the public by getting the word out about the devastation impaired drivers cause to themselves and their victims’ families and communities.
“The overall number of fatalities on Illinois roadways have been on the decline in recent years thanks to Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s leadership on traffic safety issues,” said Sees. “We will continue the efforts to keep the roadways safe as we enter the 2007 Fourth of July Holiday period. Police across the state are going to be looking to arrest impaired drivers and put them behind bars.”
IDOT’s Traffic Safety Division and ISP are building this year on the historic drop in traffic deaths that was recorded in 2006, when fatalities decreased to 1,254 from 1,364 in 2005, the lowest total since 1924. Illinois recorded a sharp drop in alcohol-related fatalities the previous year, from 613 in 2004 to 580 in 2005.
"Illinois State Police Officers will be conducting roadside safety checks with county and local law enforcement agencies across the state with the goal of locating and arresting drunk drivers," said ISP Director Larry Trent. "Those who indulge to the point of impairment and get behind the wheel can consider themselves warned: If You Drink & Drive. You Lose."
Glynn Birch, National President of MADD, strongly endorsed Illinois’s efforts to crackdown on impaired drivers.
“Nationally, with drunk driving fatalities the highest since 1992, we all need to remember to drive safe and sober this Fourth of July holiday,” Birch said. “I know first hand the pain of losing a loved one to a drunk driver. Over 15 years ago, I lost my 21-month-old son to a repeat drunk driving offender. No amount of time will erase the pain my family and I still feel every day, and this tragedy could have been prevented with either the use of a designated driver or an ignition interlock in the drunk driver’s car.”
For more information about the Division of Traffic Safety’s impaired driving and safety campaigns, go to: http://www.dot.state.il.us/safety.html.