Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White reminded motorists celebrating the country’s independence to drive safely by not driving impaired this Fourth of July holiday weekend.
“Drunk and drugged driving results in death and injury on our roadways every year,” White said. “Let’s keep the roads safe by making sure our drivers are sober.”
In 2014, 16 percent of the fatalities — three of 18 deaths — were alcohol-related during the Fourth of July holiday in Illinois, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation.
According to the National Highway Transportation Administration, an average of one alcohol-related fatality occurs every 53 minutes.
A DUI conviction can cost a driver more than $16,500 in legal fees, court costs and insurance, according to the Secretary of State’s 2015 Illinois DUI Fact Book.
On Jan. 1, 2014, the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes became legal in Illinois. However, driving under the influence of marijuana is illegal and may result in the loss of driving privileges and the driver’s medical marijuana card.
White suggests that those participating in celebrations involving alcohol take public transportation, a cab or designate a sober driver. White also reminds drivers to use safety belts.