Revelers celebrating the day when most everyone considers themselves Irish had better plan on having a designated driver.
Police officers in Joliet, Plainfield and the rest of Will County plan to step up their enforcement of drunken driving and seat belt laws for the St. Patrick’s Day weekend.
In a statement, Joliet Police Chief Bill Evans said with St. Patrick’s Day falling on Friday, that will mean more parties throughout the weekend.
“If you’ve been drinking, using cannabis or any other impairing drug, make the smart choice and plan for a sober driver to get you and your friends home safely,” Evans said.
Before drivers put their keys in the ignition, they should remind themselves that “buzzed driving is drunk driving,” Evans said.
Officers in Joliet, Plainfield and elsewhere in the county will be on the lookout for anyone driving under the influence of alcohol, marijuana or other substances.
“If you choose to drink or use cannabis, designate a sober, reliable driver to get you home safely,” Evans said.
Those officers also will step up enforcement of seat belt use, along with any speeding, distracted driving and other traffic laws.
Officials with the Will County Sheriff’s Office remind the public that with pub crawls taking place in many towns, pedestrians also are at risk during events celebrating St. Patrick’s Day.
“If you are walking, keep an eye out for cars. Designated drivers should also be on high alert for impaired pedestrians who may not obey street signs,” sheriff’s officials said.
Other tips police recommend to the public include:
• Use Uber or other ride-sharing smartphone applications and have cab companies’ phone numbers
• Make sure all guests have a designated driver in advance and take keys away from those who are impaired or may be tempted to drive.
• Always buckle up.
The St. Patrick’s Day campaign by police to enforce traffic laws is funded by federal traffic safety funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The funds are administered through the Illinois Department of Transportation.