Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is reminding travelers to avoid driving under the influence of alcohol or cannabis and refrain from distracted driving during the holiday season.
“I’m urging motorists to drive safely and avoid driving impaired, which causes death and injury on our roadways every year during the holidays,” said White. “Let’s keep the roads safe by driving sober and not driving distracted.”
According to the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), five of the 13 driving fatalities (39%) from Christmas Eve to Christmas Day during 2018 were due to impaired driving in Illinois. IDOT also reported one of the five fatalities (20%) from New Year’s Eve to New Year’s Day in Illinois during 2018 was due to driving impaired. In 2017, the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office recorded a total of 27,046 DUI arrests.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving was thanked by White for awarding Illinois a 4.5-star rating, among the nation’s highest, for the state’s efforts to combat drunk driving. White also applauded the nonprofit organization for its ongoing campaign to eliminate drunk driving.
Although recreational marijuana will be legalized on Wednesday, January 1, 2020, Illinois travelers will still be at risk for getting pulled over if driving under the influence.
“If you are pulled over for driving high, you will get a DUI,” said White.
White suggests those consuming alcohol or cannabis during holiday celebrations take public transportation, utilize a cab or ride-hailing service or designate a sober driver.
The Illinois Secretary of State encourages all drivers to use safety belts and avoid driving while distracted, with a strong emphasis on texting while driving.
For more information on impaired driving and how to prevent it, visit the Mothers Against Drunk Driving website.