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posted: 3/11/2014 4:45 PM

North Aurora police out in force to crack down on St. Patrick's Day revelers

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Submitted by North Aurora Police Department

The North Aurora Police Department announced they will be conducting special patrols this St. Patrick's Day holiday to crack down on drunk drivers. Unbuckled motorists also will be ticketed.

"We are reminding everyone this weekend to Driver Sober or Get Pulled Over and Click It or Ticket," said Chief of Police David Summer. "If you plan on drinking alcohol, designate a sober driver before the party begins. Be responsible or risk a DUI."

"Too often, St. Patrick's Day can be a deadly and dangerous time on our roadways because of drunken driving," said Summer. "That is why starting March 13 and running through March 17, we will be working overtime to catch and arrest anyone who is driving drunk."

In addition to looking for drunk drivers, North Aurora Police will be stepping up seat belt enforcement particularly at night when seat belt usage rates are lowest.

Chief Summer said 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 drunken driving. Other important tips include:

If you are hosting a St. Patrick's Day party, remember, you can be held liable and prosecuted if someone you serve is involved in a drunken driving crash. Make sure all of your guests designate a sober driver in advance or help arrange ride-sharing with other sober drivers. Serve lots of food and include lots of nonalcoholic 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.

If you are attending a St. Patrick's Day party, designate a sober driver before the party begins and give that person your car 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 while drunk. Always buckle up -- it is still your best defense against a drunken driver.

"Driving drunk is a deadly decision and it is against the law. We will show zero tolerance," Summer said. "So remember, designate a sober driver before the party begins and always buckle up."

The St. Patrick's Day Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Crackdown is funded by federal traffic safety funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and administered through IDOT's Division of Traffic Safety.