The end of summer is traditionally marked by the Labor Day holiday, often celebrated through picnics, pool parties and other gatherings. Sadly, the Labor Day holiday also can be one of the deadliest because of motor vehicle crashes related to drunk and drug-impaired drivers.
Once again, the Riverside Police Department is joining the Illinois Department of Transportation to stop drunk and drug-impaired drivers and help save lives. The high-visibility enforcement campaign, “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,” runs from Aug. 21 through the early morning hours of Sept. 5. During this period, law enforcement across the state will show zero tolerance for impaired driving. Officers also will be looking for seat-belt law violators. This comprehensive effort aims to reduce impaired driving and help make zero fatalities a reality on Illinois roads.
National statistics show a frightening trend in drunk driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 10,265 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes in 2015, an increase from 9,967 people killed in 2014. This is why the Riverside Police Department is working with IDOT to remind drivers that drunk driving is not only illegal, it is a matter of life and death.
“Driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs is a massive problem in Illinois with more than 300 people dying annually,” said Chief Tom Weitzel. “Alcohol- or drug-impaired driving is not acceptable behavior. It is essential to plan a sober ride home before you go out. We make zero exceptions for impaired driving. There are just no excuses.”
The Riverside Police Department recommends the following safe alternatives to drinking and driving:
- If you will be drinking, designate a sober driver before you go out.
- Plan to use public transportation, call a cab or use a ride-sharing service to get home safely.
- If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact the appropriate law enforcement agency.
- Have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.
The 2017 Labor Day “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign is funded by federal highway safety funds from NHTSA and managed through IDOT.