The 4th of July holiday weekend is almost here, and that means a lot of people will soon be driving all over the great state of Illinois. In fact, the Illinois Department of Transportation expects nearly 6 million vehicles to use the tollway system over the three day weekend. Because so many people are expected to be on the roads this weekend, you can also expect there to be a greater police presence. Here are some tips to avoid an interaction with a police officer over the 4th of July weekend.
Common 4th of July Crimes
Avoid a DUI – The 4th of July is typically the deadliest holiday on American roads for three main reasons: more people on the roads, faster summer speeds and alcohol consumption. DUIs spike over the three-day weekend, and police are well aware that there are more drunk drivers on the road. To combat this, the Illinois State Patrol announced that they will be conducting extra DUI patrols from Thursday evening to Sunday night. If you’re going to ring in the holiday with a few cocktails, give your keys to a sober driver or take public transportation.
Speeding Tickets – As we mentioned above, there are going to be extra cops on the roads this weekend, and they aren’t just going to be looking for drunken or distracted drivers. Keep your speed in check when you’re driving this weekend, especially in busy pedestrian areas.
Boating Citations – Cops won’t just be out in extra force on the roads, they will also be on the lake looking for illegal boating activities. Before you hit the lake, read up on the lake’s specific boating laws. Also, if you’re going fishing, make sure you have your license and you adhere to size and bag limits. Lastly, as always, ensure that you don’t drink and drive the boat. A boating while intoxicated charge can be just as devastating as a DUI in Illinois, so make sure your captain stays sober.
Fireworks Laws – Many people like to ring in America’s independence with some fireworks, but Illinois has banned most types of fireworks. Handheld fireworks, bottle rockets, fire crackers, roman candles, helicopters, pinwheels and sky lanterns have all been banned for public use, unless you’ve obtained a consumer fireworks permit. So if you’re going to shoot off some fireworks, don’t be surprised if the police show up a little while later. Be smart about celebrating the holiday with fireworks.