Oak Park police were busy on St. Patrick's Day weekend, issuing 25 citations that including five drunken driving arrests.
Police stopped 40 drivers during a late-night crackdown between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. on the Friday and Saturday or St. Patrick's Day weekend, targeting drunken drivers and people without seatbelts.
“Too often individuals get caught up in the holiday spirit and don’t think before they get behind the wheel, which is a serious accident just waiting to happen,” Deputy Chief Anthony Ambrose said. “Our goal is to get impaired drivers off the road beforethey hurt themselves and others.”
Ambrose said that while the primary focus of the holiday crackdown was on impaired drivers, police also were on the lookout for motorists and passengers who were notwearing seatbelts.
“It is not just about enforcing the letter of the law that requires vehicle passengers to buckle up, but also educating the public about their responsibility,” he said. “Sometimes it takes a ticket to get people to think seriously about the risks when they don’t take the simple, yet proven life-saving step of buckling a seatbelt.”
The Oak Park crackdown was part of a statewide effort funded by federal traffic safety grants through Illinois Department of Transportation’s Division of Traffic Safety as partof the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over and Click It or Ticket public education campaigns.
Similar high-visibility enforcement efforts are launched during other major holidays, suchas Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.
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