Champaign police to show zero tolerance for impaired drivers on St. Patrick’s Day


Kenyon Edmond

A police car initiates a traffic stop on Pennsylvania Avenue. UIPD released a report Thursday summing up statistics on crime and fire-related incidents from 2016 to 2018.

The Champaign Police Department is joining forces with the Illinois Department of Transportation to promote sober driving this St. Patrick’s Day, March 17.

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.

The slogan was created to acknowledge the 10,000 deaths caused by drunk driving in the US, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Law enforcement officers across the state, including the Champaign Police Department, will be organizing traffic safety stops to reduce these numbers. According to a press release, officials have declared that they will show zero tolerance for impaired drivers and seat belt law violators.

The CPD has provided tips and laws to consider during one of the deadliest holidays due to the number of impaired drivers on the road.

The City of Champaign suggests to arrange travel plans before drinking by coordinating a designated driver or a rideshare alternative ahead of time.

Delayed reflexes, reduced coordination, impaired memory and poor judgement are some of the side effects of intoxication. Exercising enhanced safety while communicating to pedestrians, cyclists and motorists can impact everyone on the road, according to a press release.  

Calling 911 when a friend or stranger is in need of medical assistance is crucial for their safety. Illinois’ Medical Amnesty Law allows people who are drinking underage to call 911 without the risk of receiving a citation.

However, the Illinois Social Host Law says if underaged guests possess or consume alcohol, the host will be physically arrested and charged with a Class A misdemeanor. This law also states if a person is injured or killed as a result of the party, the host will be arrested and charged with a Class 4 felony.

The CPD encourages safe driving and responsible celebration this St. Patrick’s Day by reminding partygoers to take the keys out of a drinker’s possession and make arrangements for them to get home.

[email protected]