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updated: 3/14/2013 5:46 PM

Police cracking down on drivers for St. Patrick's Day

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As they have for other holidays, local police departments are putting a traffic campaign into action this weekend to crack down on seat belt violators and impaired drivers.

The campaign will take place Thursday through Sunday in several Northwest suburbs, including Barrington, Elk Grove Village, Arlington Heights, Wheeling, Bartlett, Palatine and Prospect Heights.

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"Too often, St. Patrick's Day can be a deadly and dangerous time on our roadways because of impaired driving," said Barrington Police Chief Jerry Libit in a news release.

Prospect Heights Police Chief Jamie Dunne said in a news release the campaign fulfills the police department's priority to listen and respond to the concerns of residents.

"Participating in this statewide initiative is the best way to respond to the traffic safety concerns of our community," he said.

According to Wheeling police, the campaign is supported by federal traffic safety funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Illinois Department of Transportation's Division of Traffic Safety is administering the grant.

The extra money allows for the municipalities to dedicate manpower specifically to traffic enforcement.

Bartlett, for example, was awarded 12 additional patrol hours for day and night time seat belt violations and about 32 additional patrol hours for DUI saturation patrol.

In Arlington Heights, the campaign will include multiple impaired driving saturation patrols, along with two roadside safety checkpoints. The checkpoints will take place Friday and Saturday night on Arlington Heights Road, south of Algonquin Road.

Police are also reminding motorists to designate a sober driver and to not let friends drive impaired.

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