Champaign Police Department Urges Motorists to Celebrate Responsibly on St. Patrick’s Day

The Illinois “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” Campaign

The Champaign Police Department will be conducting special patrols on St. Patrick’s Day to curb intoxicated driving and enforce seatbelt laws.

“We are reminding everyone this weekend to ‘Driver Sober or Get Pulled Over’ and ‘Click It or Ticket’,” said Sgt. Joe Ketchem “If you plan on drinking alcohol, designate a sober driver before the party begins.

Be responsible or risk being arrested for Driving under the Influence (DUI).” 

“Too often, St. Patrick’s Day can be a deadly and dangerous time on our roadways because of intoxicated driving,” says Sgt. Joe Ketchem. “That is why, through March 17th, we will be conducting details to remove intoxicated drivers from our roadways. Violators will be subject to an arrest. 

The Champaign Police Department will also be stepping up seat belt enforcement, particularly at night when seat belt usage rates are lowest.

According to Ketchem, designating a sober driver and not letting friends drive intoxicated are just two simple to keep everyone safe. Other important tips include:

If you are hosting a St. Patrick’s Day party:

  • Remember, you can be held liable and prosecuted if someone you serve is involved in a intoxicated driving crash;
  • Make sure all of your guests designate a sober driver in advance or help arrange ride-sharing with other sober drivers;
  • Serve lots of food and include lots of non-alcoholic beverages at the party;
  • Keep the phone numbers for local cab companies handy and take the keys away from anyone who is thinking of driving intoxicated.

If you are attending a St. Patrick’s Day party:

  • Designate a sober driver before the party begins and give that person your car keys;
  • If you do not 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 intoxicated;
  • Always buckle up – it is still your best defense against a intoxicated driver. 

The St. Patrick’s Day Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign is funded by federal traffic safety funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and administered through IDOT’s Division of Traffic Safety.