Illinois State Police step up weekend enforcement - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Illinois State Police step up weekend enforcement

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WINNEBAGO COUNTY (WREX) -

Halloween is all about being scared. But one place Illinois police say you should not have to be afraid, is on the road.

Like on many holidays, our roads can be a dangerous place when you have a lot of people on the go, and alcohol added to the mix.

"We're not saying you cant drink," said Master Sgt. William Dettman of the Illinois State Police.  "We're saying you cant drink and drive."

Over the past eight years, about 85 hundred car accidents happened during Halloween.Thirty-one people died as a result. Alcohol played a role in about 40 percent of the fatalities.

In response to those scary statistics, Illinois State Police troopers will step up their patrols, starting tonight, to try and make Halloween weekend a little less frightening.

"So this weekend we've got 12 extra guys out, six each night. Just for the weekend," said Master Sgt. Dettman. "Just to go out there and patrol, looking for those intoxicated motorists, those that are not wearing their seatbelts."

The extra enforcement is made possible with the help of funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

"They give it to the Illinois Department of Transportation, and then the Illinois Department of Transportation splits it up between the districts. A certain amount of those hours are specifically targeted for Halloween weekend, from the 26th through the 31st."   

Master Sergeant Dettman will be one of the troopers on the watch tonight. His warning is the same as it is every year. "If you're gonna drink, don't drive, you know. Have a designated driver. Leave your car parked. Stay at your friend's house. Call a taxi. Just don't drink and drive!"

District 16 troopers will focus mainly on Winnebago County and the Rockford area. They say there are more accidents in Winnebago than in the other counties in their district.

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