Champaign Police Ask for Your Support in Promoting Safe Driving with “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” Labor Day Safety Campaign

Media Contact: Sgt. Geoff Coon | 217-403-6934 | [email protected]

Labor Day marks the end of summer celebrations for many families.  Unfortunately, it is also a time that many alcohol and drug-impaired drivers get behind the wheel.  As part of a national effort to eliminate drunk driving, the Champaign Police Department, partnered with the Illinois Department of Transportation, is employing the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” impaired driving enforcement.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 10,000 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes in 2013—1 every 51 minutes.  Labor Day of that same year saw 161 lives lost in car crashes, with thirty-eight percent of fatalities involving drunk drivers with blood alcohol concentrations of .08 or higher.

“We need people to understand that impaired driving is a deadly crime,” said Sergeant Geoff Coon.  “It is not enough to simply hear these safety messages…we need people to put them into practice at all times, no matter the situation or celebration.”

In every state, it is illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher.  Champaign Police encourage citizens to help avoid a tragic crash or an arrest with these safety tips:

  • Plan a safe way home before any drinking begins.  Store contact numbers for a taxi, mass transit, or family/friend who can get you home safely.
  • If you are hosting a party, ensure that all of your guests designate a sober driver in advance, or help arrange ride-sharing with other sober drivers.
  • Remember, you can be held liable and prosecuted if someone you serve is involved in a drunk-driving crash.
  • Promptly report drunk drivers you see on the roadways to law enforcement by pulling over and dialing 9-1-1.
  • Always wear your seat belt—it is your best defense against a drunk driver.
  • Download the NHTSA’s free SaferRide mobile app, available through iTunes and Google Play. The app allows you to call pre-selected contacts or a taxi, and also identifies your location so that you can be picked up.

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

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