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updated: 3/15/2013 7:20 AM

Police plan extra St. Patrick's Day enforcement

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Associated Press

Police across Illinois will be stepping up efforts to catch drunk drivers over the St. Patrick's Day weekend.

In a news release Thursday, spokesmen for the Illinois Department of Transportation and Illinois State Police said hundreds of local law enforcement agencies will be on patrol.

They say St. Patrick's Day is a traditional day of celebration with family and friends, but too often those festivities lead to excessive drinking that can turn deadly.

The increased enforcement began Thursday night and will continue through Sunday. Officials expect more than 1,000 roadside safety checks and seat belt enforcement zones will be conducted through the weekend.

The officials say 10 people died in vehicle crashes on St. Patrick's Day in the past five years, including three last year.

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