Illinois Transportation Department, Law Enforcement Officials Launch 4th of July Crackdown on DUI Offenders

CHICAGO–(ENEWSPF)–June 30, 2011.  The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), Illinois State Police and hundreds of local law enforcement agencies today are reminding motorists to drive sober or risk arrest this July 4th weekend. Law enforcement also reminded motorists to buckle up before driving or expect a safety belt citation to be issued.  The You Drink & Drive. You Lose crackdown began as IDOT revealed data showing the overwhelming financial costs associated with driving under the influence (DUI).

“The number of fatalities and injuries on Illinois roadways has declined in recent years due to many factors including effective traffic safety programs, excellent safety engineering, strategic partnerships with law enforcement and the fact that more motorists are buckling up today than ever before,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Gary Hannig.  “Even with these accomplishments, however, impaired driving is still responsible for far too many motor vehicle deaths and injuries across Illinois. IDOT stands firm in its goal to eradicate the senseless act of drinking and driving on Illinois roadways.”  

In an effort that began on June 17 and runs through July 4, the Illinois State Police and approximately 300 local police and sheriff departments are conducting 200 roadside safety checks and more than 300 nighttime safety belt enforcement zones. Additionally, thousands of patrols will occur throughout the campaign in which law enforcement will be alert for impaired drivers and safety belt law violators. In all, more than $1 million in federal highway safety funds will be committed to this enhanced effort to keep Illinois roads safe through the holiday period.

Crash data indicates 319 people in Illinois died in crashes in 2009 that involved an impaired driver. This number represents 35 percent of the motor vehicle fatalities that occurred that year.
Driving under the influence (DUI) is a criminal charge prosecuted in court.  Legal penalties in court and driver’s license sanctions administered by the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office are significant.

Minimum DUI Penalties
Loss of driving privileges
First DUI
Second DUI
Third DUI
Eligible for Monitoring Device Driving Permit allowing driving relief with Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID)
Eligible for Restricted Driving Permit
Yes, after 1 year and only with a BAIID
Yes, after 1 year and only with a BAIID
Up to 364 days
Up to 364 days; mandatory 5 days (or 30 days community service)
Class 2 Felony with possible 3-7 years; mandatory 90 days imprisonment depending on facts
Community Service
Up to 25 days depending on facts
30 days (or 5 days in jail)
Mandatory 25 days depending on facts
Up to $2,500
Up to $2,500
Up to $25,000

The financial costs of a DUI are also very steep.

Average Costs of a DUI
High-risk insurance – additional $1,500/year; required for 3 years
Legal Fees
Uncontested plea and hardship driving permit
Court Ordered Fines
Fine up to $2,500; law enforcement equipment fund $500; lab fee $150; reimburse towing and storage fees $500; trauma center fund $100
Approximately $110/month during the suspension/revocation period, plus $100 installation fee
Income Loss
Loss of 4 weeks income due to jail or community service, court appearances, evaluation and remedial education classes (based on yearly income of $40,000)
Evaluation at $150 and basic remedial substance abuse class at $250
Driver’s License Reinstatement
$500 plus $10 for a new license; $500 for multiple DUI offenders; $50 formal hearing fee
Total Average DUI Cost

“During the summer months, weekends provide families and friends with an opportunity to come together and enjoy the warm weather,” said Illinois State Police Director Hiram Grau. “As the July 4th weekend approaches, and the summer driving season shifts into gear, the Illinois State Police want to remind motorists to stay focused behind the wheel, obey all traffic laws and avoid unnecessary distractions. Our goal is to make the summer driving season as safe as possible.”

Data shows during last year’s July 4th weekend (6 p.m. on 7/2/2010 until midnight 7/5/2010), 10 people lost their lives and 780 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes in Illinois. Seven of those fatalities involved a drinking driver.

For more information about the You Drink & Drive. You Lose mobilization or IDOT’s Impaired Driving program, please visit www.drivesoberillinois.org.

Source: illinois.gov

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