Enjoy family, friends and fireworks this Independence Day: Don’t drive drunk and don’t drive high

Make driving sober and buckling up part of your plan

The Illinois Department of Transportation is teaming up with the Illinois State Police and local law enforcement throughout the state to increase safety enforcement efforts during July Fourth holiday travel. Motorists will see the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, with zero tolerance for those driving impaired by alcohol, marijuana or other drugs.

“Make plans to give your car keys to a designated driver or use a rideshare service before you start to celebrate July Fourth, so you and everyone else can make it home safely,” said IDOT’s Director of Highways and Chief Engineer Steve Travia. “Driving drunk or high could cost you or someone else their life. Make the only right choice: don’t drive impaired.”

According to IDOT data, last year in Illinois during the Independence Day holiday from July 1-4, there were 15 fatal crashes resulting in 16 fatalities, an average of more than four people killed each day of the holiday period. Four of the 15 fatal crashes were alcohol-related, resulting in four of the 16 fatalities.

Police throughout the state will work to put an end to impaired driving and strongly enforce seat belt, speeding and other traffic laws. Wearing a seat belt is the law in Illinois and your best defense against impaired drivers. Buckle up, and make sure your passengers do, too.

“Your freedom to drive could be revoked if you drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs,” said ISP Division of Patrol Col. Chris Owen. “Celebrate the freedoms afforded by the Declaration of Independence this Fourth of July responsibly – drive sober, wear your seatbelt and stay safe.”

Remember these important safety tips:

  • If you’re planning to use drugs or alcohol, give your keys to a sober driver who can safely drive you home or call a taxi, rideshare service or, if available, use your community’s sober ride program. ​
  • If you see an impaired driver on the road, contact law enforcement.
  • Remind your friends to never get in a vehicle with an impaired driver. If you have a friend who is about to drive impaired, take their keys away and help them get home safely. Don’t worry about offending someone – you might be saving their life or someone else’s.

The Independence Day “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign is funded with federal highway safety tax dollars administered by IDOT and runs through July 8. The effort is administered by IDOT with federal funds and coincides with the comprehensive multimedia campaign “It’s Not a Game.