Consider yourself warned. The is stepping up their enforcement of impaired drivers, and drivers who aren't buckled up, with a special emphasis during the late-night hours. The 'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over' campaign begins Friday and will continue through Labor Day, September 3rd.
"I hope the general public heeds this warning," said Sergeant Brian Ernst of the GLPD. According to data from the Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration the midnight to 3:00 a.m. timeframe is the deadliest time on Illinois roads. It's also the time when fewer drivers are wearing their seat belts and more drivers are under the influence of alcohol.
The numbers don't lie. NHTSA statistics show that in 2010 more than 10,000 people were killed in highway crashes across the country involving a driver who had an illegal blood alcohol level of .08 or higher.
Sgt. Ernst said the penalties are steep if you are pulled over under suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. If the breathalyzer comes back more than the legal limit, the driver will have their license suspended for six months and may have to use a breathalyzer device to operate the vehicle. If someone refuses to take a breathalyzer at the scene, it is an automatic one year suspension of the drivers license.
It is also mandatory in Illinois to wear a seatbelt while driving. An officer can stop a motorist for that violation alone. Grayslake Police officers will be enforcing the 'Click it or Ticket' campaign as well.
"It really comes down to personal responsibility," Ernst said. "When you're out, have a sober driver. Buckle up and drive safe."
Other important tips the Grayslake Police Department shared include:
- Plan ahead. 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 friend for a ride home; call a cab, sober friend or family member to pick you up; or just stay where you are and sleep it off until you are sober.
- Wear your seat belt and make sure all passengers are buckled up. It is your best defense against an impaired driver.
- Promptly report impaired drivers you see on the roadways to law enforcement.