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St. Clair County Sheriff's Department
Friday March 11th, 2011 :: 10:56 a.m. CST


St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department wants motorists to safely celebrate this St. Patrick’s Day - special patrols



The St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department wants motorists to safely celebrate this St. Patrick’s Day

Law enforcement to schedule crack down on impaired drivers

We will be conducting special patrols this St. Patrick’s Day holiday to crack down on impaired drivers.

We are reminding everyone this weekend that if you drink and drive in St. Clair County this St. Patrick’s Day, you lose. If you plan on drinking alcohol, designate a sober driver before the party begins. Be responsible or risk a DUI.

Too often, St. Patrick’s Day can be a deadly and dangerous time on our roads because of impaired driving. That is why starting today and running through March 20th we will be working overtime with increased Dui Patrols and Roadside Safety Checkpoints to catch and arrest anyone who is driving while impaired.”

In addition to looking for impaired drivers, we will be stepping up safety belt enforcement particularly at night when safety belt usage rates are lowest.

According to data from the Illinois Department of Transportation, over the past five years in Illinois, 15 people lost their lives in motor vehicle crashes on St. Patrick’s Day. Seven of those fatalities involved a driver who had been drinking alcohol. During the same timeframe, a total of 1,261 people were injured in St. Patrick’s Day crashes. Last year on St. Patrick’s Day in Illinois, one person died in a crash that did not involve a drinking driver. (Fatalities occurring on March 17 from midnight through 11:59p.m.)

Remember to always designating a sober driver and not let friends drive impaired. These are just two simple steps to help avoid a tragic crash or an arrest for impaired driving. Other important tips to remember:

If you are hosting a St. Patrick’s Day party:

Remember, you can be held liable and prosecuted if someone you serve is involved in an impaired driving crash;
Make sure all of your guests designate a sober driver in advance or help arrange ride-sharing with other sober drivers;
Serve lots of food and include lots of non-alcoholic beverages at the party;
Keep the phone numbers for local cab companies handy and take the keys away from anyone who is thinking of driving impaired.
If you are attending a St. Patrick’s Day party:

Designate a sober driver before the party begins and give that person your car keys;
If you do not 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;
Never let a friend leave your sight if you think they are about to drive while impaired;
Always buckle up – it is still your best defense against an impaired driver.
Driving impaired is a deadly decision and it is against the law. We will show zero tolerance, so remember, designate a sober driver before the party begins and always buckle up.”

100% of the funding for these safety checkpoints is made possible by a Sustained Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) grant through the Illinois Department of Transportation.

For Information Contact:

Sgt. John Fulton

St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department
700 North Fifth St
Belleville, IL 62220

St. Clair County Sheriff's Department
700 N 5th St
Belleville, IL 62220

Emergency: 9-1-1

Sgt. John Fulton

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