If you’re planning on making merry with alcohol (or marijuana) this Christmas season, be sure to have alternative transportation plans worked out. And even if you’re sober, make sure to buckle up, because the Illinois State Police will not be taking the holiday off.
In a series of press releases this week, the ISP announced several additional and specialized patrols in Kane, Cook and DuPage counties designed to get impaired drivers off the road and ensure compliance with various safety-related laws.
In Kane County, the ISP announced that it will conduct Occupant Restraint Enforcement Patrols (OREP) during December. OREPs allow the ISP to focus on safety belt and child safety seat laws. Illinois law requires all vehicle passengers (front and back) to be buckled up.
In Cook and DuPage, the ISP announced that it will conduct Nighttime Enforcement (NITE) and Alcohol Countermeasure Enforcement (ACE) patrols during December. NITE patrols allow the ISP to focus on preventing, detecting, and taking enforcement action in response to impaired driving and occupant restraint violations especially between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., while ACE patrols allow the ISP to focus on preventing, detecting, and taking enforcement action in response to violations associated with impaired driving and illegal transportation or consumption of alcohol or drugs.
The number of unrestrained drivers killed in traffic crashes is significantly higher at nighttime and combined with impaired driving means even more traffic deaths during these critical hours. Officers will strictly enforce violations including:
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI);
- Safety Belt and Child Restraint use;
- Distracted Driving; and,
- All Illinois Vehicle Code and Criminal Violations.
Alcohol and drug impairment is a factor in more than 30 percent of all fatal motor vehicle crashes in Illinois. Over half of all fatal crashes in Illinois occur at night. The NITE program allows officers to work even harder at removing dangerous impaired drivers from the road and making sure everyone is buckled up.
These projects are funded through the Illinois Department of Transportation.