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Labor Day campaign reminds Illinois drivers to stay sober

Summer, we hardly knew ye. Yet, while the calendars say that Summer 2016 will still be lingering for another few weeks, Labor Day is just around the corner. For many Illinois residents, that holiday is considered to be summer's last gasp, and there will be plenty of celebrations.

It's the celebrations that include alcohol that make Labor Day such a dangerous time to be on the roads. Already anticipating that many who imbibe and drive will be cramming as much summer fun as possible into these last few days, local police departments and the Illinois Department of Transportation have joined forces to save lives.

"Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over," a high-visibility crackdown on impaired driving is in full force through Sept. 5. Until then, Illinois law enforcement officers will demonstrate zero tolerance for both those who violate seat restraint and drunk driving laws.

One Sgt. with the Naperville Police Department stated, "We need people to understand that impaired driving is a deadly crime . . . with more than 10,000 people dying annually" in the United States.

Federal highway safety funds enable increased patrols and officers on the streets and highways of the state, and there will be an uptick in messages reminding drivers of the danger of impaired driving.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is trying high-tech ways to make it easier for those who partied a bit too heartily to get home safely. They offer a free mobile app, SaferRide, that's available on both Google Play and iTunes. People can call a pre-selected contact or a cab, and their location is identified to make pick-ups even easier.

Despite all these carrot-and-stick incentives not to drink and drive, inevitably some will, and people will die because of their poor decisions. If you lose a loved one to a drunk driver, you can fight for justice by filing a suit for wrongful death.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "From the community: This Labor Day, Remember: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over," Aug. 24, 2016

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