Illinois State Police stepping up DUI, seat belt enforcement this weekend

An Illinois State Police squad car is pictured in a file photo. This week the agency agreed to hold more public hearings on its assault weapon registration process, although the existing emergency rules governing the process will remain in effect.

The Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois State Police and law enforcement agencies across the state are reminding everyone to buckle up and drive sober this Thanksgiving.

Motorists will see hundreds of additional seat belt enforcement zones and other enforcement patrols looking for seat belt law violators and drug- and alcohol-impaired drivers through Nov. 28.

“Unfortunately, some drivers and their passengers will travel without ever buckling their seat belts. Seat belts save lives. It really is that simple,” said Steve Travia, IDOT’s director of highways project implementation. “Driving distracted or impaired significantly increases the likelihood of a crash and not wearing your seat belt increases your risk of serious injury or death even more.”

During the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in Illinois last year, 10 people were killed in crashes.

“Each year in Illinois, lives are needlessly lost simply because motorists weren’t buckled in. A safety belt can only protect you if it is used – and used properly every time.” ISP Division of Patrol Col. Christopher Owen said. “Help everyone make it home safely this Thanksgiving holiday. Don’t drive while distracted or impaired, slow down, and buckle up.”

Since 2003, Illinois has allowed police to issue a citation for not wearing a seat belt in the front seat.

Since 2012, the state has required that all vehicle occupants wear seat belts no matter where they are in the vehicle. If you’re traveling with children, remember that they are required to ride in a child safety seat until at least age 8 in Illinois.

The increased traffic enforcement is financed with federal funds administered by IDOT and supported by ISP and law enforcement throughout Illinois.

The effort coincides with IDOT’s “It’s Not a Game” radio, digital and TV campaign that reminds the public of the consequences of impaired driving as well as distracted driving, work zone safety, pedestrian safety, motorcycle awareness and occupant safety. Visit for information.