Orland Park Police: Buckle Up & Drive Sober this St. Patrick’s Day Weekend

Orland Park Police: Buckle Up & Drive Sober this St. Patrick’s Day Weekend
Posted on 03/20/2017

As the community anticipates the St. Patrick's Day holiday weekend, the Orland Park Police Department reminds motorists to travel safely and to not drink and drive.

The OPPD will be working with the Illinois Department of Transportation, law enforcement and other highway safety advocates across the state to reach all drivers with an important life-saving message and warning: "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over."

"We are issuing a holiday reminder to everyone --- buckle up and drive sober," said Police Chief Tim McCarthy. "We will have increased patrols looking for drunk drivers as part of the nationwide 'drive sober or get pulled over' mobilization. We want to keep our roads safe. Help us make zero fatalities a reality in Illinois."

In addition to looking for alcohol- and drug-impaired drivers, the OPPD will step up seat belt enforcement, particularly at night when seat belt usage rates are lowest.

Residents are reminded to always designate a sober driver and to make sure friends do not drive drunk. If there is no designated driver, ask a sober friend or family member for a ride home or call a cab or Uber. Planning your ride ahead of time is one of the simplest ways to ensure you do not harm yourself or others on the road.

"If you choose to drink, designate a sober, reliable driver to get you home safely from the party," McCarthy said. "If someone you know has been drinking, take their keys and drive them home. What you choose to do can save someone's life."

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that nationally in 2015, 35,092 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes with 29 percent (10,265) dying in crashes where the driver had a blood alcohol concentration over the limit of .08.

"Choosing to drink and drive risks your own safety and others and also brings on legal consequences --- it's a very costly mistake," McCarthy said.

Drunk driving offenders often serve jail time, lose their driver's license, are charged higher insurance rates and pay countless unanticipated expenses from attorney's fees, court costs, car towing and repairs, and lost wages with the ultimate cost of drunk driving is causing a crash that injures or kills.

Motorists and pedestrians who see impaired drivers on the road should immediately dial 9-1-1 to notify the police, sharing the model and make of the vehicle, the license plate number and direction of travel, if possible.

The St. Patrick's Day "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" Crackdown is funded by federal traffic safety funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and is administered through the Illinois Department of Transportation.