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Impaired driving threatens holiday joy: IDOT, ISP aim for safer roads to conclude the year

Press Release - Friday, December 22, 2023

SPRINGFIELD - This holiday season, the Illinois Department of Transportation, in collaboration with the Illinois State Police and nearly 200 law enforcement agencies, reminds the public that the annual "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign is underway through Jan. 2. With the primary goal to keep impaired drivers off Illinois roads during the holiday season, as celebrations unfold, it becomes imperative to plan for a sober ride home before the festivities begin.


"Help us spread the message: Impairment is impairment, whether by alcohol or drugs. Driving impaired is illegal and deadly," said IDOT's Director of Highways Project Implementation Steve Travia. "All impairing substances will lead you to a DUI if you choose to drive under the influence."


The end-of-year enforcement campaign comes as IDOT data shows crash fatalities are higher than this time in 2022. Through Dec. 14, 1,213 people have lost their lives in crashes, which is 11 more than during the same period in 2022.  


"The ISP will be doing our part to keep roads safe this holiday season," said Division of Patrol Deputy Director, Col. Christopher Owen. "We will be conducting roadside safety checks and performing directed patrols focusing on DUI enforcement. We want everyone to be able to enjoy the holidays, and voluntary compliance regarding impaired driving is preferred. Designate a driver, use a ride-share service or call a cab. Don't let the ISP be your ride, because we won't be going to your house."

Other important tips include:

  • Plan ahead. If you'll be attending a party or going out and intend to drink or use cannabis or any impairing drugs or substances, plan for a sober driver to take you home.
  • If it's your turn to be the designated driver, take that role seriously - your friends are relying on you.
  • Use your community's sober ride program if available, call a cab or use your favorite ride-sharing app.
  • See a friend or family member who is about to drive impaired by alcohol and/or drugs? Take the keys away and plan to get them home safely.

In addition to impaired driving and seat belt offenders, law enforcement will show zero tolerance to speeding, distracted driving and other traffic law offenders.


The heightened law enforcement is made possible through federal funds administered by IDOT and coincides with the comprehensive multimedia campaign "It's Not a Game."

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