March 10, 2023 – With St. Patrick’s Day approaching, the Oak Park Police Department is reminding motorists that officers will be out in full force to keep roads safe while the festivities commence.
“This year, St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Friday, and that means more parties throughout the weekend,” said Police Chief Shatonya Johnson. “If you’ve been drinking, using cannabis or any other impairing drug, make the smart choice and plan for a sober driver to get you and your friends home safely. Before you put your keys in the ignition, remind yourself: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving. We want everyone to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day, but safe driving is everyone’s responsibility,”
Always designating a sober driver and not letting friends drive drunk are just two simple steps to help avoid a tragic crash or an arrest for driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.
In addition to looking 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.
Speeding, distracted driving and other traffic laws will also be strictly enforced.
The campaign runs through March 19.
Other important tips:
- Remember, you can be held liable and prosecuted if someone you serve is involved in an impaired driving crash.
- Make sure all guests designate a sober driver in advance or help arrange ride-sharing with other sober drivers.
- Serve lots of food and include lots of non-alcoholic beverages at the party.
- Keep the phone numbers for local cab companies handy and take the keys away from anyone who is thinking of driving drunk.
- Designate a sober driver before the party begins and give that person your keys.
- 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 just stay where you are and sleep it off until you are sober.
- Never let a friend leave your sight if you think they are about to drive drunk.
- Always buckle up.
- Remember, pedestrians are at risk, too. If you’re walking, keep an eye out for cars. If you’re driving, remain alert for impaired walkers who may not obey street signs.
The St. Patrick’s Day enforcement campaign is 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call 708.386.3800.