March 12, 2021 - The Oak Park Police Department is conducting special patrols over St. Patrick's Day weekend in an effort to arrest impaired drivers and encourage the use of seat belts.
“While festivities may look different this year, our message remains to celebrate responsibly,” said Police Chief LaDon Reynolds. “If you plan to drink or use cannabis, find a sober driver to get everyone home safely.”
Celebrated throughout the country, St. Patrick’s Day is typically one of the deadliest holidays of the year due to the number of drunk drivers on the road. If you’ll be drinking or using another impairing substance, plan ahead for a sober ride home.
Public health officials also remind everyone that the COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing and gathering in large groups is still not encouraged. The guidance for fighting the spread of COVID-19 remains wearing a mask, watching your distance and washing your hands.
In addition to patrolling for alcohol- and drug-impaired drivers, the Oak Park Police Department will be stepping up seat belt enforcement, particularly at night when seat belt usage rates are lowest. Speed limits and distracted driving laws will also be strictly enforced.
Designating a sober driver and not letting friends drive impaired are two simple steps to help avoid a tragic crash or an arrest for driving under the influence.
Other important tips:
- If you do not have a designated driver, ask a sober friend for a ride home, call a cab, sober friend or family member to pick you up, or stay where you are and sleep it off until you are sober.
- Buckle up. It’s your best defense in the event of a crash.
- Remember, pedestrians are at risk, too. If you are walking, keep an eye out for cars. If you’re driving, remain alert for impaired walkers who may not obey street signs.
The Illinois “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” and “Click It or Ticket” campaigns are administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation with federal highway safety funds managed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
For more information about the Oak Park Police Department, visit www.oak-park.us/police, email email@example.com or call 708.386.3800.