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HAPPENING NOW: Saturation Saturday is underway

Posted by on Saturday, August 24th, 2019 @ 5:14 pm.

ILLINOIS – Illinois State Police officials announce their partnership with Mothers Against Drunk Driving – Illinois (MADD – IL), Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Chicago Police Department, and local and county law enforcement officers across the state for the Saturation Saturday Enforcement Campaign, which will be taking place on August 24 through the early morning hours of August 25, 2019. The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness on the dangers of drunk and drugged driving and remove impaired drivers from the roadways.

This MADD-IL initiative is an educational and enforcement approach aimed at reducing the number of impaired drivers and bringing awareness to the issue. First launched in Missouri in 2017 by MADD, the Saturation Saturday enforcement initiative came to Illinois for the first time in 2018.  Nationally, the Saturation Saturday Enforcement Campaign now includes 14 states.

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) provisional statewide data, 2018 saw 1,035 lives lost in 951 fatal crashes in Illinois. Of those fatal crashes, drivers with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of .080 or greater were involved 22.6 percent of the time.  Compared to 2017, there were 1,090 lives lost in 998 fatal crashes with 25.7 percent involving drivers with a BAC of .080 or greater. Nationally, MADD data shows the number of drunk driving deaths is up 9 percent since 2014. Additionally, as summer winds down and with Labor Day being viewed as the traditional end, many people may be tempted to make poor choices on the roadways. The ISP has identified the four most common violations that contribute to fatal traffic crashes in Illinois. In no particular order, those Fatal Four decisions are Distracted Driving, Driving Under the Influence, Speeding, and Failure to Use Occupant Restraint. While Illinois, according to MADD, has seen a 12 percent reduction in DUI related fatalities since 2009, DUI laws continue to be a top enforcement priority for the Illinois State Police.

Saturation Saturday is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration / Illinois Department of Transportation funded “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” initiatives, which take place from August 14 through September 2, 2019. All of these campaigns are both educational and enforcement oriented in nature and are directed toward removing impaired drivers from the road, reducing crashes related to impaired driving, and making the states’ roadways safer for all.

“The educational messages provided by the Illinois State Police regarding the Fatal Four are an integral component to the overall safety of our roadways,” stated Illinois State Police Acting Director Brendan F. Kelly. He continued, “This educationally focused portion of our mission will hopefully give motorists the tools they need to make better decisions behind the wheel.  Because ultimately, the goal is voluntary compliance with the laws, leading to countless lives being saved.”

Saturation Saturday enforcement efforts are being dedicated to local victims and families whose lives have been impacted by impaired driving. Families and survivors encourage law enforcement officers everywhere to make a difference in the lives of all Illinoisans and to prevent these senseless tragedies from occurring in other’s lives. Their personal stories stand to broaden the understanding and potential severity of poor choices made by impaired drivers.

During the initiative, ISP Troopers will strictly enforce alcohol related violations through directed patrols, Roadside Safety Checkpoints, and other proactive enforcement efforts. During the 2018 Saturation Saturday Enforcement Campaign, ISP Troopers arrested and removed 39 intoxicated drivers from Illinois roadways. Eight (8) were more than twice the .08 legal limit. Troopers also made 162 arrests for other offenses including: open alcohol, possession of drugs, and warrants.

The driving force behind these efforts is to deter drivers through education, increased visibility of law enforcement officers, and proactive enforcement of laws. This will serve to foster a safer roadway environment for all roadway users. These partnerships have been formed to help further a traffic safety culture in Illinois and to reduce traffic fatalities and injuries resulting from impaired driving.

For additional information relating to Saturation Saturday and MADD, please visit https://www.madd.org/blog/saturation-saturday/.  For additional information regarding the ISP’s educational efforts, please visit any or our many District supported social media platforms, the statewide Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/IllinoisStatePolice, or our You Tube Channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqmvVzpfjsojFnd50HndO5A.

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Posted by on Aug 24 2019. Filed under Breaking. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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