(The Center Square) – Ongoing through Jan. 2, law enforcement across the state will be out in full force to get drivers who are drunk or high off the roads.
Illinois State Police troopers and the Illinois Department of Transportation are reminding folks to Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. They are committed to zero tolerance for impaired drivers.
Whether a driver is drinking, using drugs or taking prescription medication, driving under the influence is against the law, Chicago attorney Rob Kohen said. Kohen is a partner at law firm Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., a law firm whose chief operating officer, T.J. Saye, sits on the advisory board of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
More than 27,000 people were arrested for driving under the influence in Illinois last year. Three hundred people in Illinois were killed in alcohol-related crashes.
“In the grand scheme of things, using a $20 Uber or Lyft makes so much more sense than risking injury to yourself or someone else,” Kohen said.
Make a plan to get home from holiday celebrations safely, whether that means taking public transit, clicking an app on your phone for a ride share, or using a designated driver, Kohen said.
“Think about what the night is going to entail before you make a mistake that you will regret for the rest of your life,” Kohen said.
First-time offenders lose their driving privileges for 6 months to a year and pay a fine as high as $2,500.
If a driver gets stopped and refuses the breathalyzer test, they lose their driving privileges on the spot.
“You certainly want to take that test. If you fail it or refuse to submit to the testing, you will lose your license then and there,” Kohen said.
A DUI results in a permanent mark on your driving record, disqualifying offenders from many jobs, Kohen said. Offenders face multiple court dates with thousands of dollars in court costs, legal fees and fines.
A revoked driver’s license means more money to get to work and get around. Once driving privileges are reinstated, a DUI conviction means years of paying higher auto insurance rates.