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Holiday patrol crackdown runs through Jan. 5


Statistics provided by the Vernon Hills Police Department’s Crime Prevention Unit:

In Illinois, 323 people were killed in alcohol-related crashes in 2011 (the most recent year data is available).

In 2011, the Illinois Secretary of State’s office recorded more than 38,000 DUI arrests.

85 percent of all drivers arrested for DUI are first-time offenders.

92 percent of all drivers arrested for DUI, who were eligible, lost their driving privileges.

The average cost of a DUI conviction in Illinois is $16,580.

Statistics were obtained from the 2013 Illinois Secretary of State DUI Fact Book

Updated: January 24, 2014 6:13AM

Police departments across the county and the state want to remind drivers to wear their seat belts and to not drive while impaired as part of the annual Illinois “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” holiday-season crackdown.

The campaign began last Friday and runs through Jan. 5

The Gurnee Police Department will be conducting 40 hours of special traffic-enforcement efforts — a program that is funded by a grant from the Illinois Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

PIn Round Lake Park, Police Chief George Filenko noted that everyone inside a vehicle is required by law to wear a seat belt and properly restrain children in safety seats.

“Our officers are prepared to ticket anyone who is not wearing a seat belt and arrest those choosing to drive impaired,” he said.

Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran noted that being arrested for driving drunk brings a wide range of negative consequences into one’s life.

Drunk drivers face jail time, loss of their driver licenses, and steep financial consequences, such as higher insurance rates, attorney fees, court costs, lost time at work, and the potential loss of job.

“This holiday, we will show zero tolerance for drunk drivers on the road. If you choose to drive drunk, we will see you, we will stop you and you will be arrested,” said Curran.

The Vernon Hills Police Department explained that a person’s blood-alcohol content is determined by the amount of alcohol in the body compared to the total volume of blood. Exactly how a person reaches a level of .08 depends on a number of factors including body size and the amount of food consumed.

As an example, a 170-pound male typically must consume more than four drinks in one hour on an empty stomach to reach a BAC of .08, and a 135-pound female typically would have to consume three drinks in the same time frame. Remember, one 12-ounce beer, one 5-ounce glass of wine, and one 1.5 ounce shot of hard liquor all contain a comparable amount of alcohol.

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