If you plan on checking out the parade or the dyeing of the Chicago River this St. Patrick’s Day weekend, you’ll want to ensure you have a safe ride home. That’s because police departments in Chicago announced this week that they will be conducting special patrols to crack down on drunk driving over the St. Patty’s holiday.
West Chicago Police Sgt. Spencer Kroning said they are announcing the extra enforcement in hopes that drivers will use the information to make better driving decisions this weekend. He also noted that since the official holiday falls on a Tuesday, the extra patrols will continue through next weekend.
“We are reminding everyone this weekend through St. Patrick’s Day to drive sober and buckle up. If you plan on drinking alcohol, designate a sober driver before the party begins. Be responsible or risk a DUI,” said Kroning. “Too often, St. Patrick’s Day can be a deadly and dangerous time on our roadways because of drunk driving. That is why starting Friday and running through March 22, 2015 we will be working overtime engaged in high visibility, conspicuous patrols to catch and arrest anyone who is driving drunk.”
Kroning also said that authorities will be looking for unbelted drivers, so be sure to buckle your seat belt if you’re traveling around the Chicago area over the next 10 days.
Host Liability Laws in Illinois
In addition to a heads up about the extra DUI and seatbelt patrols, Kroning wanted to provide some important tips for anyone thinking about hosting a St. Patrick’s Day party. Some ideas to keep in mind include:
- Make sure anyone who is leaving has a sober driver, because as the host, you can be held liable and prosecuted if your friend gets in a drunk driving accident.
- Be sure to have plenty of food and non-alcoholic options for everyone.
- Keep a list of cab companies or download the Uber app to ensure people have access to sober driving options.
- Remind people that cops will be out in full force, and even if they have a sober ride, they should buckle up.
Sgt. Kroning said police aren’t going to show leniency to any drivers or passengers breaking the law, even if you’re just driving around the block.
“Driving drunk is a deadly decision and it is against the law. We will show zero tolerance,” said Kroning. “So remember, designate a sober driver before the party begins and always buckle up!”
Related source: Chicago Tribune