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The Evanston Police Department announced it will extend its Thanksgiving enforcement crackdown through the holiday season under the tagline: “You Drink & Drive. You Lose.”  The intensified enforcement effort against impaired drivers underscores the severity of the problem both locally and across the nation, said the police department in a press release.

 According to the Illinois Department of Transportation’s Division of Traffic Safety, during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays in 2007, 24 people were killed, 9 of those fatalities involved a driver who had been drinking.

 “We will be out in force making sure impaired drivers are off the road,” said Sgt. Thomas Moore.  “No amount of good cheer will be able to save you from the consequences of impaired driving. If we catch you, we will arrest you.  No exceptions.  No excuses.”

 “Even though we have seen reductions in Illinois in traffic deaths, our work is far from over,” said Sgt. Thomas Moore.  “Too many people continue to suffer devastating injuries and the loss of a loved one as a result of someone driving impaired.”

 The Evanston Police Department recommends designating a sober driver and not letting friends or family drive impaired. Other tips include: 

  • Designate a sober driver before going out and give that person your keys.
  • If you are impaired, call a taxi, use mass transit or call a sober friend or family member to get you home safely.
  •  Promptly report impaired drivers you see on the roadways to law enforcement;
  • Wear your safety belt. It is your best defense against an impaired driver.

 “Impaired driving is simply not worth the risk. It is a severe crime. Violators will be spending their money on bail, court, lawyers and towing fees. That is not a great way to end the year,” said Sgt. Thomas Moore. 

 The law enforcement crackdown is funded by federal traffic safety funds through IDOT’s Division of Traffic Safety and it runs concurrently with a media campaign that will remind motorists, “You Drink & Drive. You Lose.”  For more information, visit www.drivesoberillinois.org.