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 Department on Tuesday announced plans for July 4 traffic enforcement focusing on drunk and unbuckled drivers.
The intensified enforcement effort will focus on late-night hours as statistics show a disproportionate number of traffic deaths occur late at night and involve a drunk driver or unbuckled motorist. The crackdown is part of the statewide, Independence Day Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over and Click It or Ticket effort.
“Summer is in full force, and so is the summer travel season,” Alton Police Chief Jason Simmons said. “All too often, that means more traffic and more traffic crashes and Independence Day can be one of the deadliest summer travel times.
“Too many people die each year due to those who choose to drive after drinking, so our officers will be out in full force this Independence Day showing zero tolerance for drunk drivers and belt law violators.”
The Alton Police will join the Illinois State Police and hundreds of police and sheriff’s departments in a statewide enforcement effort that begins June 23 and runs through July 6.
To avoid a potential crash or drunk driving arrest, the Alton Police recommend designating a sober driver and not letting friends or family members drive drunk. Other important tips include:
Plan ahead. Designate a sober driver before going out and give that person your keys;
If you are drunk, call a taxi, use mass transit or call a sober friend or family member to get you home safely;
Promptly report drunk drivers you see on the roads to law enforcement by pulling over and dialing 911;
Make sure everyone in your vehicle wears their seat belt. It is your best defense against a drunk driver.
The law enforcement crackdown is funded by federal traffic safety funds through IDOT’s Division of Traffic Safety. The crackdown runs concurrently with a media campaign that reminds motorists “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” and “Click It or Ticket.”