Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over
As summer winds down, the Hoffman Estates Police Department is ramping up its traffic enforcement efforts as part of the national crackdown on drunk driving. The high-visibility campaign, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, is a partnership with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Illinois Department of Transportation to curb drunk and drugged driving and save lives. From August 24 through September 7 (Labor Day), law enforcement partners nationwide and all around Illinois will show zero tolerance for drunk driving. Increased state and national messaging about the dangers of driving impaired by alcohol or other drugs, coupled with roadside safety checks and increased officers on the road, aim to drastically reduce the toll of impaired driving. In addition, seat belt law violators will receive a ticket – no exceptions.
In 2013, there were 10,076 people killed in drunk driving crashes in the U.S., almost a third of all traffic fatalities. 38 percent of crash fatalities on Labor Day weekend that year involved drunk drivers (with blood alcohol concentrations [BACs] of .08 or higher), amounting to 161 lives lost.
“Too many people think their actions don’t affect anybody else,” said Chief Ted Bos. “They know it’s illegal. They know it’s wrong. But they do it anyway – they make decisions as if those statistics just can’t happen to them,” he added. The reality is, people aren’t invincible. Of the 10,076 people who were killed in impaired driving crashes in 2013, 65 percent were the drunk drivers themselves. Those 6,515 drunk drivers planned on making it to their destinations, but they didn’t.
In every state, it’s illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher. The Hoffman Estates Police Department wants to remind drivers that it’s not a recommendation; it’s the law. And during the enforcement period starting August 24, there will be a special emphasis on drunk driving enforcement. Local drivers should expect to see more patrol vehicles, roadside safety checks and increased messaging about this reckless, preventable crime. “The number of people who are still drinking and driving is unacceptable,” added Sgt. Golden.
Chief Ted Bos emphasized the preventable nature of drunk driving: “All it takes is a little planning ahead. Designate a sober driver or call a cab. But whatever you do, don’t drink and drive. And remember, a seat belt is your best defense in a crash, so Click It or Ticket.”
The law enforcement crackdown is funded by federal traffic safety funds through IDOT.