Police Enforce “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” Safety Campaign

For Immediate Release
August 24, 2015

Contact:  
Sgt Geoffrey Coon, 217-403-6934, geoffrey.coon@ci.champaign.il.us

Police Enforce “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” Safety Campaign

As summer winds down, The Champaign Police Department is ramping up its traffic enforcement efforts as part of the national effort to eliminate drunk driving.

August 24 – September 7 (Labor Day), law enforcement partners in Illinois and nationwide will show zero tolerance for drunk or drug-induced driving.  Increased safety messaging, officer presence on roadways, and roadside safety checks are measures Police will take to curb drunk and drug-induced drivers and to help reduce the toll of impaired driving.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2013, there were 10,076 people killed in drunk driving crashes in the U.S., amounting to almost one-third of all traffic fatalities. Thirty-eight percent of crash fatalities on Labor Day weekend of 2013 involved drunk drivers with blood alcohol concentrations [BACs] of .08 or higher, resulting in 161 lives lost.

“Many people make the decision to drive impaired, not giving enough consideration to the potential impact it could have on their lives or the lives of others,” said Sergeant Geoff Coon.  “Of those killed in impaired driving crashes in 2013, 65 percent were the drunk drivers themselves.  Those 6,515 drivers planned on making it to their destinations, but they didn’t.  Our hope is that people begin to hear these messages in stereo and understand the devastating impacts that impaired driving can have on any of us.”

In every state, it is illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher.  Champaign-Urbana drivers are reminded that the BAC level is not a recommendation; it is the law.  Drivers are encouraged to plan ahead if they intend to drink by designating a sober driver or having a phone number on-hand to call a cab.  Whatever you do, do not drink and drive.

During the enforcement period starting August 24, there will be a special emphasis on impaired-driving enforcement, in addition to seat belt enforcement.  Remember, a seat belt is your best defense in a crash, so “Click It or Ticket”—no exceptions.

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, is a partnership with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and IDOT, the Illinois Department of Transportation, who supports the efforts through federal traffic safety funds.

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