Police stepping up patrols on Illinois roads New Year’s weekend

IDOT, ISP and law enforcement working overtime this New Year’s

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 almost 200 law enforcement agencies across the state are reminding the public they’ll be working overtime through the beginning of the new year in an effort to keep roads safe for everyone.

“Getting behind the wheel after drinking or using impairing drugs is a criminal act that jeopardizes your safety and the safety of others,” said IDOT Director of Highways Project Implementation Steve Travia. “Other dangerous behaviors like not wearing a seat belt, distracted driving and speeding are also strongly addressed by our laws. These laws exist for one reason – to keep the millions of people who use our public roads safe.”

During the last days of the year, additional law enforcement will patrol for impaired driving, seat belt violations, speeding, distracted driving and other traffic offenses. Through Dec. 14, 1,213 people have lost their lives in fatal crashes, 11 more than during the same period in 2022, according to ISP.

“During this time of year when more people are out celebrating, ISP has additional troopers on the road working to stop drunk and dangerous drivers before they cause a crash,” said ISP Division of Patrol Col. Chris Owen. “As you celebrate the holidays and get ready to ring in the new year, remember to make a plan to get home safely. Designate a driver, ask a friend or family member to pick you up or plan a ride share if you’ll be drinking while celebrating.”

Designating a sober driver and do not let friends and family members drive impaired.

Other important tips:

• Plan ahead. If you know you’ll be attending a party or going out and you plan to drink or use cannabis or any impairing drugs or substances this New Year’s Eve, plan for a sober driver to take you home.

• Look to public transportation, your community’s sober ride program, cabs or your favorite ride-sharing app.

• If you see a friend or family member who is about to drive impaired, take the keys away and plan to get them home safely.