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Cherry Valley Police Department
Monday March 14th, 2011 :: 09:19 a.m. CDT


The Police Department is cracking down on seat belt and DUI violators from March 11 through March 20.

Cherry Valley Police Department announced they 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 Cherry Valley this St. Patrick’s Day, you lose,” said Chief Todd Houde. “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,” said Chief Houde. “That is why starting today and running through March 20th, we will be working overtime with increased DUI patrols to catch and arrest anyone who is driving while impaired.”

In addition to looking for impaired drivers, the Cherry Valley Police Department 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 time frame, 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.)

Chief Houde said that always designating a sober driver and not letting friends drive impaired are just two simple steps to help avoid a tragic crash or an arrest for impaired driving. Other important tips include:

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,” said Chief Houde. “So remember, designate a sober driver before the party begins and always buckle up.”

The law enforcement crackdown is funded by federal traffic safety funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and administered through IDOT’s Division of Traffic Safety.”

Cherry Valley Police Department
806 E. State St.
Cherry Valley, IL 61016

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 815-332-3432

Todd Houde

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