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Every year, Americans drive to celebrate the Fourth of July at picnics, parties, parades and events that often include drinking alcohol. The Lombard Police Department will be on patrol this Independence Day, making sure motorists are driving sober.
“Don’t even think about drinking and driving this Fourth of July – or you will be arrested,” said Lombard Police Traffic Unit Officer Paula Rojas. “The ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ campaign means zero tolerance for drunk driving – no excuses.” In addition to looking for drunk drivers, the Lombard Police Department will be stepping up seat belt enforcement, particularly at night when seat belt usage rates are at their lowest.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data shows that young drivers (18 to 34 years old) are especially at risk of driving drunk. Nationally, 58 percent of the drivers 18 to 34 years old who were killed over the July Fourth period in 2014 were driving drunk (BAC of .08 or higher). Motorcycle operators are also overrepresented as the highest percentage of alcohol-impaired drivers in fatal crashes. In 2014, more than a quarter (29 percent) of motorcycle operators in fatal crashes had BACs of .08 or higher.
Not only could you put your life and the lives of others at risk, but a DUI arrest means a loss of freedom and money, including going to jail, losing your license, and paying steep financial expenses. Officer Rojas reminds residents that two easy ways to help prevent drunk driving is to designate a sober driver and to not let friends drive drunk. Other important tips include:
Pedestrians are at risk, too. If you are walking, keep an eye out for cars. Designated drivers: Be alert for impaired walkers who may not obey street signs. The “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” crackdown is funded by federal traffic safety funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration administered through the Illinois Department of Transportation. Please contact Officer Rojas at (630)873-4400 with questions.