Mattoon, IL – The Mattoon Police Department today announced it will conduct special patrols this St. Patrick’s Day to crack down on drunk drivers and encourage people to wear their seat belts.
Widely celebrated across the country, St. Patrick’s Day is one of the deadliest holidays due to the number of drunk drivers on the road. Drunk driving kills more than 10,000 people each year in our country, and each of those deaths is preventable.
“We’re urging our community’s residents and guests to plan ahead for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations,” said Capt. Ray Hall . “If you’re going to drink, designate a sober driver before you go out. Remember: It’s not just about you. There are other people on the roads who want to get where they are going safely.”
Designating a sober driver and not letting friends drive drunk are two easy ways to avoid a tragic crash or an arrest for drunk driving. Following are some additional tips.
If you’re hosting a St. Patrick’s Day party:
- Remember, you can be held liable if someone you serve is involved in a drunk driving crash.
- Make sure your guests designate a sober driver in advance or help arrange ride-sharing with sober drivers.
- Serve plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverages.
- Keep phone numbers for local cab companies or your favorite ride-sharing app handy and take keys away from anyone who is thinking of driving drunk.
If you’re going out for St. Patrick’s Day:
- Designate a sober driver ahead of time and give that person your car keys.
- If you don’t have a designated driver, call a cab, use ride-sharing, have a sober friend or family member pick you up or stay where you are and sleep it off.
- Never let a friend leave your sight if you think they’re about to drive after drinking.
- Buckle up – it’s your best defense in a crash.
Pedestrians are at risk, too. If you are walking, keep an eye out for cars. Even a sober driver is a risk if you are drinking and walking. Designated drivers: Be alert for impaired walkers who may not obey street signs and pedestrian signals.
The Illinois St. Patrick’s Day Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign is funded by federal highway safety funds administered through the Illinois Department of Transportation.