Across the country, an average of one alcohol-related traffic death occurs every 45 minutes. Alcohol and drug impairment are significant factors in more than 40 percent of all fatal motor vehicle crashes in Illinois.
The Alton Police announced Friday its late-night plans for the 2014 Labor Day Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Impaired Driving Crackdown, focusing on the deadliest time of day for motor vehicle fatalities.
The intensified enforcement effort against late-night impaired drivers and seat belt law violators will run from tonight, Friday, Aug. 15, through Monday, Sept. 1, and emphasizes the disproportionate number of traffic deaths occurring during late-night hours.
According to data from the Illinois Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the midnight to 3 a.m. timeframe is the deadliest time on Illinois roads. The data also shows this time of day has the highest percentage of alcohol involvement and the lowest occupant restraint use.
“The numbers do not lie. To help prevent fatalities on Illinois roadways, we are stepping up our late-night enforcement efforts, making sure impaired drivers are off the road and motorists are buckled up,” Alton Police Traffic Division Sgt. Michael Gordon said. “If you drive impaired or unbuckled at night, we will find you and arrest you or give you a ticket.”
The Alton Police Department recommends designating a sober driver and not letting friends and family drive impaired as just two of several steps to avoid a tragic crash or an arrest for impaired driving. Other important tips include:
- Plan ahead. Designate a sober driver before going out and give that person your keys.
- If you are impaired, call a taxi, use mass transit or call a sober friend or family member to get you home safely.
- Promptly report impaired drivers you see on the roads to law enforcement.
- Wear your seat belt and make sure all passengers are safely buckled up. It is your best defense against an impaired driver.
The law enforcement crackdown is funded by federal traffic safety funds through IDOT’s Division of Transportation Safety and it runs concurrently with a media campaign that will remind motorists to “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”