Friends don’t let friends drive drunk on St. Patrick’s Day
From press release
For many Americans, St. Patrick’s Day has become a popular night out to celebrate with friends and family. Unfortunately, due to the large number of drunk drivers, the night out has also become very dangerous.
On St. Patrick’s Day 2009, 37 percent of the drivers and motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or above, according to statistics by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
During the St. Patrick’s Day holiday, the Rockford Police Department will conduct extra DUI enforcement.
The Illinois Department of Transportation has provided the City of Rockford with a “Sustained Traffic Enforcement Program” (STEP) grant for 2011.
The purpose of the Sustained Traffic Enforcement Program is to reduce the incidence of motor vehicle crashes, and their resulting injuries and fatalities. STEP grants are designed to increase occupant protection usage and to reduce DUI through hire-back enforcement. This program provides for participation in special enforcement campaigns.
“Whether you are meeting a few friends at the local pub after work or attending a large party, if you plan on using alcohol, never drive while impaired–and never let your friends drive if you think they are impaired.” “Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk,” said Deputy Chief Theo Glover of the Rockford Police Special Operations Bureau.
Additional NHTSA statistics show that in 2009, there were 103 crash fatalities on St. Patrick’s Day. Out of that number, 47 people were killed in traffic crashes that involved at least one driver or motorcyclist with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher.
Deputy Chief Glover recommends the following easy steps for a safe St. Patrick’s Day.
• Plan a safe way home before the festivities begin;
• Before drinking, please designate a sober driver and leave your car keys at home;
• If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation so you are sure to get home safely;
• If you happen to see a drink driver on the road, don’t hesitate to contact the police;
• And remember, if you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.
“Driving impaired is simply not worth the risk,” said Deputy Chief Glover. “Not only do you risk killing yourself or someone else, but the trauma and financial costs of a crash or an arrest for driving while impaired can be really significant. Don’t depend on dumb luck this St. Patrick’s Day. Designate your sober driver before the party begins.”
From the March 16-22, 2011, issue
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