The Champaign Police Department Reminds Motorists that Luck won’t get them Home Safely this St. Patrick’s Day

The Champaign Police Department announced today they will be conducting special patrols this St. Patrick’s Day to crack down on drunk drivers. Unbuckled motorists also will be ticketed.

“We are reminding everyone this weekend through St. Patrick’s Day to drive sober and buckle up,” said Sgt. Geoff Coon. “If you plan on drinking alcohol, designate a sober driver before the party begins. Be responsible or risk a DUI.”

“Too often, St. Patrick’s Day can be a deadly and dangerous time on our roadways because of drunk driving,” said Sgt. Geoff Coon. “That is why starting today and running through March 17th, we will be working overtime to catch and arrest anyone who is driving drunk.”

In addition to looking for drunk drivers, Champaign Police will be stepping up seat belt enforcement particularly at night when seat belt usage rates are lowest.

Sgt. Geoff Coon said always designating a sober driver and not letting friends drive drunk are just two simple steps to help avoid a tragic crash or an arrest for drunk driving.

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 drunk 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 drunk.

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 drunk;

• Always buckle up – it is still your best defense against a drunk driver.

“Driving drunk is a deadly decision and it is against the law. We will show zero tolerance,” said Sgt. Geoff Coon. “So remember, designate a sober driver before the party begins and always buckle up.” The St. Patrick’s Day Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Crackdown is funded by federal traffic safety funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and administered through IDOT’s Division of Transportation Safety.”