"Drive Sober" campaign promotes safe driving
State and local officials throughout Illinois are joining to remind motorists to drive safely during the holiday season.
“Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over”
The Illinois Department of Transportation, IDOT, Illinois State Police and nearly 200 local law enforcement agencies are coming together for the annual holiday “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign to keep alcohol- and drug-impaired drivers off the road.
Now through the early morning of Jan. 2, Illinois motorists will see this lifesaving enforcement effort on the roads of their communities and throughout the state.
“The holidays should be a time for celebrating and making memories, not a time of tragedy and loss for families,” said Cynthia Watters, IDOT’s bureau chief of safety programs and engineering.
“Unfortunately, alcohol at holiday events means the potential for more impaired drivers. Driving and the use of alcohol, drugs or other substances needlessly contributes to deaths on our roads.”
The holiday campaign features the familiar “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” and “Click It or Ticket” messages.
In addition to DUI and seat belt offenders, law enforcement will show zero tolerance for speeding, distracted driving and other offenses.
“Driving under the influence has deadly consequences. Make a plan to designate a driver, call a cab, or use a rideshare service before consuming alcohol,” said Illinois State Police director Leo P. Schmitz.
“Throughout the holidays, the ISP will be doing their part in keeping the roadways safe by strictly enforcing the four most common causes of fatal traffic crashes, The Fatal Four: DUI, speeding, seat belt, and distracted driving. Remember, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”
With all the seasonal festivities taking place, it is essential to plan for a sober ride home before the celebrating begins, state officials said.
The “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” and “Click It or Ticket” programs are administered by IDOT using federal funds.
“Keep Roads Safe”
Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is reminding motorists who are celebrating during the holiday season to drive safely by not driving impaired or distracted.
“Drunk and impaired driving causes death and injury on our roadways every year during the holidays,” White said in a news release.
“Let’s keep the roads safe for our loved ones and others by driving sober and making sure we don’t drive distracted.”
In 2017, four of the six fatalities (66 percent) were alcohol-related from New Year’s Eve to New Year’s Day in Illinois, according to IDOT.
In 2016, 29,528 DUI arrests were recorded by the Illinois Secretary of State’s office.
Eighty-six percent of all drivers arrested for DUI are first-time offenders, according to the Illinois Secretary of State’s office.
White suggests that those drinking during celebrations take public transportation, a cab or a ridesharing service or designate a sober driver.
White also reminds everyone to use safety belts and avoid driving while distracted, with a special emphasis on not texting while driving.