ISP, Secretary of State Police team with local police to step up
alcohol enforcement for St. Patrick's Day
details planned to curb impaired driving for third year in a row
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[March 16, 2007]
SPRINGFIELD -- Illinois
Department of Transportation Acting Secretary Milt Sees and
Illinois State Police Director Larry Trent announced that IDOT,
ISP and the Secretary of State Police are teaming up with local
police agencies throughout the state to urge the public to celebrate
St. Patrick's Day safely this weekend. The agencies issued the
notice Thursday as they geared up for a major enforcement effort for the
third year in a row.
"Unfortunately, in recent years we've seen an increase in the number
of people killed in highway crashes on St. Patrick's Day," Sees said. "That is why for the last three years, IDOT and
the Illinois State Police have worked with local law enforcement
agencies across the state in a coordinated effort to stop underage
drinking and to take impaired drivers off our roadways."
St. Patrick's Day falls on a Saturday this year, law enforcement
will be working even harder to get drunk drivers off the road. This
year IDOT, ISP and the Secretary of State Police will join 65 police
agencies and sheriff's departments from around Illinois in stepping
up efforts to spot and arrest impaired drivers before and on St.
Patrick's Day. Since 1994, crash deaths on St. Patrick's Day
have continued to rise, from one in 1994 to eight in 2004 and six in
2005. Illinois' annual average is less than four crash fatalities a
"Illinois law enforcement officers are committed to keeping
impaired drivers off the roads and preventing alcohol-related
tragedies year-round," Trent said. "So that we
can hopefully prevent tragedies and our citizens arrive home safely,
we'll be increasing our efforts during the St. Patrick's Day
celebrations. If you are going to celebrate by drinking, don't take
any chances. Designate a driver and make the celebration safe for
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At least 65 police agencies will be conducting 100 roadside
safety checks as part of the St. Patrick's Day mobilization,
specifically focused on getting impaired drivers off the road. On
Friday and Saturday, the Illinois State Police will have 30 roadside
checks in districts around Illinois.
In the days leading up to St.
Patrick's Day, police around the state conducted "alcohol
countermeasure enforcement" details, including sting operations
at bars and package liquor stores, aimed at stopping underage
drinking before it starts.
IDOT's Division of Traffic Safety is funding the crackdown and a
media awareness campaign with $279,000, of which $100,000 is for
radio ads and $179,000 to help police agencies cover overtime
related to the effort.
Department of Transportation news release from
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]