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Police to Crack Down on Impaired Drivers

Oak Park police to participate in "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign starting Aug. 16.

From the Village of Oak Park:

Oak Park police next week will join a statewide effort to target impaired drivers in the annual Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over crackdown on those driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. 

While Oak Park police are always on the lookout for impaired drivers, they will be especially aggressive during the statewide campaign and will have extra officers on patrol, according to Oak Park Deputy Police Chief Anthony Ambrose. 

“If you chose to drive impaired in Oak Park, you will be arrested – no warnings, no excuses," Ambrose said in a statement.

Researchers say high-visibility enforcement efforts like the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, which includes national and state paid advertising, can reduce drunken driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent, according to a news release from the Village of Oak Park. The campaign starts Aug. 16 and runs through Labor Day.

“Getting behind the wheel drunk or impaired is a terrible idea. Not only does being under the influence affect one’s ability to operate a vehicle safely, it also affects one’s judgment and good sense about whether they can or should drive,” Ambrose said. “Sometimes it takes aggressive police enforcement to remind impaired drivers of the danger they pose to themselves and others.”

In addition to targeting impaired drivers, Oak Park police also will be looking for seat belt violations—especially during late night hours when seat belt use is lowest and accident rates the highest. Ambrose said his officers will have zero tolerance for seat belt law violators—in both the front and back seats. 

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over is a national campaign launched in 1999 to raise awareness of the dangers of driving under the influence. The program supports high-visibility enforcement and public education, focusing on the busiest travel times of the year such as Labor Day.

Federal traffic safety funds through Illinois Department of Transportation’s Division of Traffic Safety cover the extra personnel costs of the stepped up enforcement effort.

For more information on traffic safety in Oak Park, e-mail police@oak-park.us.

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