SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois State Police and local law enforcement agencies throughout the state are reminding motorists to drive sober this holiday season. The annual “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign to keep alcohol- and drug-impaired drivers off Illinois roads will run through Jan. 2. In addition to impaired driving and seat belt offenders, law enforcement also will show zero tolerance for speeding, distracted driving and other traffic violations.
“The holiday season should be a time for celebrating and making memories, not a time of tragedy and loss,” said Cynthia Watters, IDOT’s bureau chief of Safety Programs and Engineering. “Too often, alcohol at holiday events contributes to the number of impaired drivers on our roads. Help us spread the message that driving impaired not only is illegal, but also can have fatal consequences.”
Get The Latest News!
Don't miss our top stories and need-to-know news everyday in your inbox.
Data from IDOT’s Bureau of Data Collection shows the number of alcohol-impaired fatalities – motor vehicle deaths involving at least one driver with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or higher – has increased. In 2021, a total of 275 people died in alcohol-impaired crashes in Illinois, an increase of 50 deaths from 2020.
Last year, 1,334 people lost their lives in crashes, the highest total since 2005. According to provisional data, 1,182 fatalities have occurred in 2022 as of Dec. 14, which is 98 fewer deaths over this same period last year.
“The holidays are a time for friends and families, not funerals,” said ISP Director Brendan F. Kelly. “Driving while impaired, either by alcohol or drugs, is not only dangerous, it can be deadly. This holiday season, if you go out to celebrate, plan for a ride share or designate a driver, and make it home to your friends and family.”
The “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” and “Click it or Ticket” campaigns are administered by IDOT with federal traffic safety funds. The effort coincides with IDOT’s “It’s Not a Game” radio, digital and TV campaign that reminds motorists of the consequences of impaired driving and distracted driving, as well as work zone safety, pedestrian safety, motorcycle awareness and occupant safety. Visit www.itsnotagameillinois.com for more information.