Don’t drive if you plan on celebrating the holiday with alcohol

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SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) reminds you to plan before you party this St. Patrick’s Day. If you’ll be drinking alcohol to celebrate the holiday, don’t drive. Designate a driver, call a cab or ride-sharing company or take public transit. Don’t make a mistake that could cost you all of your green.

“St. Patrick’s Day is a festive occasion, but it can turn deadly if you aren’t responsible,” said Priscilla Tobias, highway safety official and director of program development for IDOT. “Make sure you leave your keys at home if you will be out drinking alcohol. It’s not worth a DUI, or worse. Leave the driving to someone who is sober.”

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The Illinois State Police (ISP) and law enforcement agencies throughout the state will be looking for impaired drivers. Police will be conducting roadside safety checks and seat belt enforcement zones around the holiday, in an effort to keep the roads safe. The message during this campaign, and every day, is simple: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.

“Drinking and driving is one of America's most often committed and deadliest traffic offenses,” said ISP Director Leo P. Schmitz. “Make this St. Patrick's Day celebration safe for everyone by designating a sober driver. Don’t let your luck run out by taking chances with impaired driving. Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over!”

IDOT data show that 58 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes on the weekends prior to, and after, March 17 from 2012 to 2016; 16 of the fatalities involved at least one driver who had been drinking. In 2016 alone, 15 people were killed during those two weekends and four died as a result of crashes involving at least one driver who had been drinking.

Impaired driving puts you and others on the road at risk of a crash, or even death. Even a small amount of alcohol consumption can lead to disaster. Don’t take a chance and ruin the holiday, or perhaps your life. Celebrate responsibly.


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