Illinois Authorities Launch Safety Campaign Ahead of St. Patrick’s Day

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Springfield, IL – As St. Patrick’s Day approaches, Illinois law enforcement agencies are taking proactive steps to ensure the festivities remain safe and joyous for everyone. The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office, in collaboration with the Illinois State Police and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), announced a comprehensive traffic safety campaign focused on curtailing drunk driving and enhancing road safety.

According to the McHenry County Sheriff’s Office, the period surrounding St. Patrick’s Day has historically seen a spike in alcohol-related traffic incidents. Data reveals that between 2017 and 2021, 272 individuals lost their lives in drunk-driving crashes during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday period. To combat this, authorities will be intensifying efforts to detect and penalize alcohol- and cannabis-impaired drivers. Additionally, the campaign will emphasize seat belt enforcement, particularly during nighttime hours when compliance is typically lower, alongside strict enforcement of speeding, distracted driving, and other traffic laws.

The campaign aims to remind those celebrating St. Patrick’s Day to plan their transportation ahead of time, prioritizing safety whether they’re hosting a gathering, attending a parade, or enjoying a night out. Officials urge the public to designate sober drivers, utilize public transportation or ride-sharing services to avoid impaired driving, and ensure all passengers are buckled up.

The initiative also emphasizes the importance of community responsibility in preventing impaired driving. It encourages individuals to intervene if they know someone who is about to drive while impaired, to report suspected impaired drivers to law enforcement, and to remember that impaired walking can also pose dangers.

This safety initiative is supported by federal traffic safety funds provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, managed by IDOT, underscoring the collective effort to make St. Patrick’s Day celebrations safe for all Illinoisans.

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