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Drive sober or get pulled over

12/24/2018, 6 p.m.
The holidays are a time for friends, family and coworkers to come together in celebration. Wherever you are — at ...

The holidays are a time for friends, family and coworkers to come together in celebration. Wherever you are — at an office party, a family member’s home or out at a bar — it is essential that you make the lifesaving choice to drive sober when the party ends. To help spread the message about the dangers of impaired driving, The Will County Sheriff’s Department is partnering with the Illinois Department of Transportation, the Illinois State Police and nearly 200 police and sheriff’s departments across the state. The goal is simple: Get impaired drunk drivers off the roads and help save lives.

This high-visibility enforcement campaign, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, runs Dec. 17 to Jan. 2. Law enforcement will show zero tolerance for drunk or drugged driving. We aim to drastically reduce impaired driving on our roads through an increased number of state and national messages about the dangers of impaired driving and more officers enforcing live-saving seat belt, speeding and distracted driving laws.

Sadly, statistics show much work must still be done to end impaired driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 10,874 people were killed in the United States in drunk-driving crashes in 2017. That’s one person killed every 48 minutes. In Illinois in 2017, alcohol-impaired motor vehicle crashes claimed 349 lives.

This is why the Will County Sheriff’s Department is so committed to reminding drivers that impaired driving is not only illegal, it is a matter of life or death.

Alcohol-impaired driving is not the only risk on the road. Drug-impaired driving is also on the rise. If drivers are impaired by any substance — whether alcohol or drugs — they should not get behind the wheel. Driving while impaired is illegal, period. If you feel different, you drive different. Drive high, get a DUI.

“We understand that during the holidays, people are running around, busily checking off items on their to-do list and attending parties,” said Sgt. Lakomiak. “We need our community members to slow down and remember: It’s up to them to make the smart decision to drive sober — during the holidays and all year long. Impaired driving is a huge problem in Illinois, and, unfortunately, we are seeing a rise in marijuana use and drugged driving, too. Stay safe and stay sober on the roads.”

Party with a Plan

If you plan to drink, plan for a sober driver to take you home. Is it your turn to be the designated driver? Take that role seriously — your friends are relying on you.

• Remember, it is never OK to drive impaired by drugs or alcohol. Even if you have had only one alcoholic beverage.

• Designate a sober driver, use public transportation, use a ride service, call your community’s sober ride program, call an Uber service, or opt to spend the night.

• If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact the Will County Sheriff’s Department (815)727-8575.

• Have a friend who is about to drive impaired? Take the keys away and help them get home safely. They will thank you later.

The Illinois Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over and Click It or Ticket campaigns are funded with federal highway safety dollars and administered by IDOT in partnership with the Will County Sheriff’s Department and law enforcement throughout Illinois and the nation.