If you go out to celebrate the New Year, make sure you don't get behind the wheel after a night of revelry; the Illinois Department of Transportation is teaming up with the Illinois State Police to step up enforcement for the holiday.
The final "Drive to Survive" push of the year comes at a time that can be particularly dangerous to drivers. During the last five years (2007 to 2011), 42 people have died in crashes on Illinois roadways between 6:00 p.m. on December 31 and 11:50 p.m. on January 1. Seventeen of those people died in crashes involving drunk drivers. During the same period, 3,114 people were injured in 12,750 crashes during the holiday.
"Unfortunately, New Year's on Illinois roadways is deadly and can be one of the most dangerous times of year because of drunk drivers," Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider said. "Driving a vehicle while intoxicated jeopardizes your safety and the safety of others on our roadways. If you are going to drink, plan another way home before the celebration begins, and always buckle up in the front seat and back."
Last year, nine people died and 502 were injured in car crashes during the New Year's holiday. Three of the nine fatal crashes involved a drunk driver.
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