Whether your Christmas celebration is starting late, or if your New Years gatherings are starting early, the Illinois Department of Transportation says you need to act responsibly if you're driving. 
Jared Thornley is the director of IDOT's Division of Traffic Safety.  He says fatal drunk driving crashes used to be much higher 20 to 30 years ago, especially during the holidays, but the crashes still happen when you think they do.
"The information doesn't lie," says Thornley.  "It shows that a very high number of traffic fatalities on the roads occur late at night, and a high percentage of those involve people who have been drinking, or who haven't been wearing a seat belt."
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Thornley says drunk driving enforcement is addressed by IDOT on a couple levels.
"We try to do a two-pronged approach, where we do the psychological -- the "click it or ticket" and all our outreach kind of campaigns," says Thornley.  "But we also work very closely with the Illinois State Police and the local police and sheriffs departments, to give tickets and citations.  Because sometimes it doesn't get real until you've gotten caught."
Thornley urges using a designated driver, and says that local and state police will be doing extra patrols through New Years, especially at night, thanks in part to federal grants IDOT administers.
(Copyright WBGZ Radio / www.AltonDailyNews.com )