The weekend that started Friday is enough of a holiday weekend that the cops will be engaged in special patrols. The Illinois State Police and 300 local departments are involved in the effort, which runs through New Year’s Day. The main offenses they’re trying to prevent are drunk driving and lack of seat belt use, and that’s why many of the patrols will be at night, says Mike Claffey, spokesman for the Illinois Department of Transportation.
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“We’re gonna have a lot of late-night checkpoints, because we know there’s a tendency, late at night, people forget to buckle up. Statistics show us that [that is] a time when a lot of people are out there driving without being buckled up, and that’s when there’s also drunk drivers on the road,” he said. On New Year’s Eve and Day specifically, a year ago there were nine fatalities and 502 injuries on the roads of Illinois. Over the last five years, there have been 42 fatalities over the last five years in Illinois; 17 were alcohol-related, according to IDOT, for the period each year from 6 p.m. Dec. 31 and all day Jan. 1.