deadly combination of alcohol and low safety belt use has caught the
attention of transportation and law enforcement leaders in Illinois.
Illinois law enforcement will be out in full force now
through Labor Day in an effort to crack down on this dangerous
trend. For the next two weeks, over 300 local law enforcement
agencies will join the Illinois State Police in conducting nearly
200 roadside safety checks, impaired-driving saturation patrols and
nighttime safety belt patrols. Motorists are being warned that
nighttime impaired driving or failure to buckle up will get you
arrested or ticketed.
"We are working closely with Illinois State Police and local
agencies to make sure that all motorists behind the wheel are
driving sober," said IDOT Secretary Gary Hannig. "One of our top
priorities is to save lives, and the data revealed shows that we
need to focus our efforts on impaired driving at night."
"Drinking and driving is inappropriate regardless of the time of
day," said Illinois State Police Director Jonathon Monken. "Data
tells us the likelihood of being involved in a crash or fatal crash
where alcohol is involved increases dramatically at night.
Therefore, the Illinois State Police will focus our efforts on DUI
and seat belt enforcement during nighttime details throughout the
Labor Day weekend."
Nearly seven out of 10 fatalities occurring between midnight and
3 a.m. involve a drinking driver, and less than three out of 10 of
those who died in crashes during this time were properly restrained
by a safety belt. The picture is completely different during the
higher traffic daytime hours, with less than two out of 10
fatalities involving alcohol and nearly six out of 10 properly
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According to data from the Illinois Department of Transportation and
the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the midnight to
3 a.m. time frame is the deadliest time on Illinois roads. For the
last four years (2005-2008) in Illinois, more motor vehicle
fatalities occurred between midnight and 3 a.m. than any other time
of day. Fatalities occurring from 9 p.m. to midnight were close
Not coincidentally, the data also shows that late-night hours
have by far the highest percentage of alcohol involvement. For the
last four years (2005-2008), 67 percent of the motor vehicle
fatalities occurring from midnight to 3 a.m. involved a drinking
Equally troubling is the fact that during the nighttime hours
motorists buckle up at a much lower rate. Data shows that for the
years 2005-2008, the midnight to 3 a.m. and the 3-6 a.m. time frame
had the lowest belt use in cases of motor vehicle fatalities, with
only 27 percent of those who died in crashes properly restrained.
The 9 p.m. to midnight time frame was second-worst, as only 32
percent of those who died had been properly restrained.
For more information about impaired driving in Illinois, visit
Department of Transportation
file received from
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]