SPRINGFIELD – With St. Patrick’s Day parades and parties just around the corner, the Illinois Department of Transportation is teaming up with the Illinois State Police and local law enforcement to remind the public that driving after drinking alcohol, using cannabis or taking any other impairing substance is dangerous and deadly. The ISP and more than 200 city and county law enforcement agencies will be stepping up enforcement efforts through St. Patrick’s Day this Sunday to help prevent impaired driving and keep our roads safe.

“If you’re celebrating St. Patrick’s Day, designate a sober driver before you leave the house,” said Steve Travia, IDOT’s Director of Highways and Chief Engineer. “Too many people wait until after they’ve become impaired to figure out how they will get home. By then, it’s too late to make a coherent, responsible decision.”

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Follow these simple steps to enjoy a safe St. Patrick’s Day:

  • Remember, you can be held liable and prosecuted if someone you served is involved in an impaired driving crash.
  • Make sure all of your guests designate their sober drivers in advance or help arrange ride sharing with other sober drivers.
  • Serve plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverages at the party.
  • Designate your sober driver before the party begins and give that person your car keys.
  • If you don’t have a designated driver, ask a sober family member or friend for a ride home or call a cab, take public transportation or use a ride-sharing service.
  • Never let a friend leave your sight if you think they are about to drive impaired.
  • Always buckle up – it’s your best defense against an impaired driver.

“Every St. Patrick's Day, our troopers around the state handle crashes caused by drunk drivers,” said ISP Division of Patrol Col. Chris Owen. “Remember, it's not just your life that's in jeopardy if you get behind the wheel after drinking, but everyone else’s on the road as well. Make plans in advance and stay safe.”

The heightened law enforcement is made possible through federal funds administered by IDOT and coincides with the comprehensive multimedia campaign “It’s Not a Game.

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