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Saturation patrols in force for St. Pat's holiday

The Downers Grove Police Department announced they will be conducting special patrols this St. Patrick’s Day holiday to crack down on impaired drivers.

“We are reminding everyone that if you drink and drive in Downers Grove this St. Patrick’s Day, you lose,” said Chief Porter. “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 roads because of impaired driving,” said Chief Porter. “That is why on beginning on March 13th we will be working with increased DUI saturation patrols to catch and arrest anyone who is driving while impaired.”

Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) show that over the past five years, 851 people lost their lives in motor vehicle crashes during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday. Out of that number, 327 were killed in crashes that involved a drunk driver (blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher.)

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), last year in Illinois, three people lost their lives on St. Patrick’s Day. One of those deaths involved a drinking driver (at least one involved driver had a BAC of 0.01 or higher). Over the last five years in Illinois, 26 people lost their lives in motor vehicle crashes, of which 11(42%) involved a drinking driver. (These fatalities occurred on March 17, between 12:01 a.m. and midnight. Alcohol-related fatalities are fatalities that resulted from a crash in which at least one driver, either surviving or deceased, had a BAC of 0.01 or greater.)

Chief Porter said that always designating a sober driver and not letting friends drive impaired are just two of several simple steps to help avoid a tragic crash or an arrest for impaired 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 served ends up in an impaired driving crash;
  • Make sure all of your guests designate their sober drivers in advance, or help arrange ride-sharing with other sober drivers;
  • Serve lots of food——and include lots of non-alcoholic beverages at the party;
  • Keep the numbers for local cab companies handy, and take the keys away from anyone who is thinking of driving impaired.

If you are attending a St. Patrick’s Day party:

  • Designate your 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 impaired;
  • Always buckle up – it is still your best defense against an impaired driver.

“Driving impaired is a deadly decision, and it is against the law. We will show zero tolerance,” said Chief Porter “So remember, designate your sober driver before the parties begin -You Drink & Drive. You Lose.”