SPRINGFIELD –Across the country, millions of people will gather this weekend to watch the Super Bowl, America’s most popular sports event. To prevent fans from driving impaired, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and Illinois State Police (ISP) today kicked off the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over and Click It or Ticket campaigns for the weekend.
“Traffic volume significantly increases around national events like the Super Bowl, and unfortunately, so does the likelihood of motorists opting to consume alcohol and subsequently drive home,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider. “We strongly advocate safe driving behavior and urge fans to pass their keys to a sober driver before the party begins.”
State Police will add troopers in many regions to identify and remove impaired drivers from Illinois roadways over the weekend. In addition, law enforcement will focus on safety belt use during late-night hours, when motorists are less likely to buckle up.
“Illinois State Troopers will be placing special emphasis on identifying impaired drivers,” said ISP Director Hiram Grau. “We want motorists to drive and arrive at their final destinations safely.”
In Illinois during the last three years (2009-2011), five motor vehicle fatalities occurred on Super Bowl Sunday. Four of the five fatalities, or 80 percent, involved a driver who had been drinking alcohol. In comparison, last year in Illinois, there was one motor vehicle fatality on Super Bowl Sunday and it involved a driver who had been drinking.
IDOT suggests the following tips for those planning to consume alcohol while watching the Super Bowl:
• Designate a sober driver before the party begins;
• Call a taxi, sober friend or family member, or use mass transit to get yourself home safely;
• Use your community’s designated driver program, if established;
• Report impaired drivers to law enforcement;
• Spend the night where the activity is being held and sleep it off;
• Always buckle up – it’s your best defense against an impaired driver.
The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over and Click It or Ticket campaign is administered by Illinois Department of Transportation’s Division of Traffic Safety and supported by hundreds of law enforcement agencies statewide. For more information about IDOT’s impaired driving or occupant protection programs, visit www.drivesoberillinois.org or www.buckleupillinois.org.