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updated: 8/7/2013 11:21 AM

West Chicago Police Department Joins Hundreds of Illinois Police Agencies for "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" Crackdown on Drunk Drivers

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Krista Coltrin

West Chicago Police officers will be out in force as part of the annual Illinois "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" crackdown on drunk drivers. The statewide campaign will run from August 16 through September 2, 2013 and will include high-visibility alcohol and seat belt enforcement throughout West Chicago.

West Chicago Police officers will be aggressively looking for drunk drivers during the crackdown and will arrest anyone caught driving drunk. In addition, officers will be stepping up seat belt law enforcement, especially during the late night hours when seat belt use is lowest. "Zero tolerance" will be shown for seat belt law violators in both the front and back seats.

Although 0.08 BAC is the legal limit in all 50 States, people across the nation get behind the wheel after consuming too much alcohol. The latest statistics underscore the serious nature of the nation's continuing drunk driving epidemic. Every year in Illinois, about one third of all motor vehicle traffic deaths involve one or more drunk drivers or motorcycle operators.

Sergeant Spencer Kroning of the West Chicago Police Department added that holidays such as Labor Day are particularly dangerous. "Research has shown that high-visibility enforcement like the 'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over' campaign reduces drunk driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent. By joining this effort, we will help make West Chicago's roads safer for everyone throughout the Labor Day period," said Kroning

"Not only does drinking impair the driver's ability to operate a vehicle safely, it also impairs their judgment and good sense about whether they can, or should, drive. If you have any doubt about your sobriety, do not get behind the wheel. If you do chose to drive impaired, you will be arrested. No warnings. No excuses," said Kroning.

Kroning also noted the wide range of negative consequences associated with drunk driving arrests. Drunk drivers face jail time, loss of their driver's license, and steep financial consequences such as higher insurance rates, attorney fees, court costs, lost time at work, and the potential loss of employment. Additionally, violators often face personal repercussions when family, friends and co-workers learn of their arrest.

The law enforcement crackdown is funded by federal traffic safety funds through the Illinois Department of Transportation and is part of the statewide "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" and "Click It or Ticket" campaigns.