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Fourth of July enforcement targets impaired drivers

 Posted on December 00, 0000 in Drunk Driving Accidents

The Fourth of July is just one of those warm weather holidays that puts everyone in a good mood. Especially with the holiday landing on a Thursday this year, many people may be turning the nation&s birthday into a four-day weekend. As such, many Chicagoans will be traveling for the holiday and should be aware of increased patrol efforts on the roads.

Lake County in particular is increasing patrol numbers and hosting traffic stops. The goal of these efforts is to enforce people to wear seat belts and catch drunk drivers. If the officers can prevent just one drunk driving accident, death or injury, it will be well worth it.

Funding for the increased presence is coming from two established programs in Illinois, "Click It or Ticket" and "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over." The main focus of the holiday weekend will be during later times of the day and night when the most traffic deaths generally occur. This is due to drunk drivers and people not wearing seatbelts. The officers are maintaining a zero-tolerance policy for driving under the influence and the efforts will run statewide until Sunday.

There is cause for concern given the history of the Fourth of July. In the last five years, over half of the deadly car accidents during the holiday involved a driver under the influence. During the same time frame, there were around 3,500 people injured in car accidents in Lake County.

Police officers are also urging people to be cognizant of their friends and family and to convince people to put down their car keys or call a cab in order to avoid a DUI accident. Drivers also can call in if they see unsafe driving or a potential drunk driver. Even small precautions can help and caution is the name of the game when it comes to drunk driving.

After an accident, it may be too late to reverse the damage done, but injured drivers or passengers may be able to recover financially. A drunk driver is breaking the law and that negligence means he or she is responsible for paying for any resulting medical expenses or other costs incurred by the victim of any accident that might result.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "Traffic safety crackdown set for holiday," Pat Christensen, July 1, 2013

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