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  Illinois State Police News Release   

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ISP, IDOT, and Illinois law enforcement remind fans to celebrate safely this weekend

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Press Release Date: January 30, 2008    || Archived February 5, 2008

Pass your keys to a designated driver this Super Bowl Sunday

The Illinois State Police (ISP), Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), and law enforcement agencies around the state remind you to act responsibly by designating a sober driver if you plan to consume alcohol this Super Bowl weekend. “We are reminding everyone this weekend that if you plan on drinking alcohol while cheering your team on to victory, pass your keys to a sober, designated driver before the Super Bowl party begins,” said IDOT Secretary Milton R. Sees. “In Illinois, You Drink & Drive, You Lose. We know one of the teams will lose the game, but let’s make sure there are no losses on Illinois roads.”

Every year, Super Bowl Sunday is a time when friends and families gather to socialize and watch the big game. Yet, it can also be one of the nation’s most dangerous days on the roadways, due to impaired driving.

As part of Super Bowl weekend, law enforcement agencies statewide will conduct roadside safety checks and other stepped-up impaired driving enforcement details. Illinois State Police will be making sure impaired drivers are off the roads, and will be performing Alcohol Countermeasure Enforcement saturation patrols and Roadside Safety Checks throughout the state.

"Throughout Super Bowl Sunday, the Illinois State Police will remain diligent in enforcing Driving Under the Influence and other fatal five violations, including speeding, seat belt use, improper lane usage, and following too closely," said Illinois State Police Director Larry G. Trent. "Law enforcement recognizes the big game brings fans together to celebrate, and as is often the case, alcoholic beverages are a part of the celebration. Unlike the Super Bowl, life is not a game. If you choose to drink, ask someone to be a designated driver or call a taxi service to make sure you arrive home safely.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 130 people, representing 39 percent of all traffic fatalities, died during the 2006 Super Bowl weekend in crashes involving impaired drivers with blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels of .08 or higher. In Illinois, 22 people have lost their lives in motor vehicle crashes during the past five Super Bowl Sundays. Statistics show six of these fatalities involved alcohol. Last year on Super Bowl Sunday, six people lost their lives on Illinois roads; none of those involved alcohol.

If you are hosting a Super Bowl party:

  • Remember, you can be held liable and prosecuted if someone you serve ends up in an impaired driving crash.
  • Make sure all of your guests designate their sober drivers in advance, or help arrange ride-sharing with other sober drivers.
  • Serve lots of food, and include non-alcoholic beverages at the party.
  • Stop serving alcohol at the end of the third quarter of the game, and begin serving coffee and dessert.
  • Keep the numbers for local cab companies handy, and take the keys away from anyone who is thinking of driving impaired.
If you are attending a Super Bowl party or watching at a sports bar or restaurant:
  • Designate your sober driver before the party begins and give that person your keys.
  • If you don’t have a designated driver, ask a sober friend for a ride home; call a cab, sober friend or family member to pick you up; or, just stay where you are and sleep it off until you are sober.
  • Never let a friend leave your sight if you think they are about to drive while impaired. Remember, Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk.
  • Always buckle up – it’s still your best defense against an impaired driver.

This stepped-up impaired driving enforcement is funded by federal traffic safety funds through IDOT’s Division of Traffic Safety. For more information about the Division of Traffic Safety’s impaired driving and safety campaigns, visit: http://www.dot.state.il.us/safety.html.

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For more information contact:
Public Information Office
Telephone: 217-782-6637
TDD: 1-800-255-3323

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