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Illinois steps up seat belt and DUI enforcement for holidays

Close to 200 local police and sheriff's departments throughout Illinois will increase their traffic enforcement operations from Thanksgiving through New Year's Day. With the support of federal highway safety dollars, the Illinois Department of Transportation has coordinated the activities of the state police and local law enforcement agencies to increase traffic patrols, write tickets for seat belt violations and arrest intoxicated drivers.

Working under the slogans Click It or Ticket and Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, police officers will establish enforcement zones. They will check for drivers who aren't wearing their seat belts and children without proper car seats. Police want to send a strong message to wear seat belts, and they intend to write tickets. Individuals who travel in vehicles without proper restraints represent half of all people who die in traffic accidents.

The officers working enforcement zones will scrutinize drivers for sobriety. Driving after drinking or using drugs will result in an arrest. Agencies will devote extra hours to operating roadside safety checks across the state.

The social occasions that accompany the holidays increase the likelihood of people drinking and driving, especially during evening hours. A person who ends up arrested at a roadside safety checkpoint could discuss options for a DUI defense with an attorney. A legal consultation prior to entering a plea in court could prevent a person from automatically accepting responsibility for criminal charges as originally filed. A lawyer could look at the circumstances of the traffic stop, charges and previous criminal history of a person and potentially negotiate a plea bargain that limits penalties. This effort might prevent a person from having to serve jail time.

Source: Plainfield Patch, "Police Plan DUI, Seat Belt Patrol This Thanksgiving In Plainfield", Shannon Antinori, November 16, 2018

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