Police Increase Enforcement for July 4 Holiday
Champaign Police will increase traffic enforcement of alcohol-impaired and unbuckled drivers this weekend, in conjunction with the Fourth of July holiday. The enforcement is part of the statewide Independence Day Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over and Click It or Ticket effort.
Drunk driving is an epidemic in our nation, and crash incidents increase during the Fourth of July holiday. In 2013, there were 10,076 people killed in drunk-driving crashes, representing almost one-third of all traffic fatalities nationwide. By comparison, there were 512 people killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes over the Fourth of July holiday (6 p.m. July 3rd through 5:59 a.m. July 8th). Of those fatalities, 199 (39%) occurred in crashes that involved at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 grams per deciliter or higher.
To address this issue locally, the Champaign Police Department is ramping up its enforcement to make our roads safer this Independence Day. The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign means zero tolerance for drunk driving—no excuses. And the Click It or Ticket means just that. Individuals driving drunk will be arrested and unbuckled drivers/passengers will be fined.
“For everyone’s sake, do not drink and drive—it puts lives at risk and also puts you, the driver at risk of arrest and high fines,” stated Sergeant Geoff Coon. “In addition to the concern of taking your own life or others, a DUI arrest can mean time in jail, loss of your license, and steep financial expenses. The average DUI costs about $10,000.”
To avoid a potential crash or drunk driving arrest, the Champaign Police Department recommends the following tips:
- Limit the number of drinks you consume, especially if there’s any chance you will need to drive.
- Plan a safe way home before any drinking begins.
- Designate a sober driver before going out and give that person your keys.
- If you are impaired, call a taxi, use mass transit or call a sober friend or family member to get you home safely. Plan ahead and store the contact numbers in your phone, just in case.
- Promptly report drunk drivers you see on the roadways to law enforcement by pulling over and dialing 9-1-1.
- If you know someone who is about to drive while impaired, take your friend’s keys and help your friend make other arrangements to get to where he or she is going safely.
- Make sure everyone in your vehicle wears their seat belt–it is your best defense against a drunk driver.
The July 4 enforcement is funded by Federal Traffic Safety Funds through IDOT. For more information about the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over and Click It or Ticket It campaigns, visit http://www.idot.illinois.gov