Officials Increase Enforcements to Reduce Risks of Drunk Driving Accidents in Illinois on Super Bowl Sunday

Many residents will be cracking open a cold one for the start of the big game on Sunday — Super Bowl XLVI. Unfortunately, many of these residents will continue to crack them open through the entire game and then they’ll get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle and increase the risks of a drunk driving car accident in Illinois.Officials in Kane County and elsewhere throughout the state are preparing. They recently announced that they will be practicing a “no-refusal” drunk driving enforcement crackdown all day on Sunday, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Our Chicago drunk driving car accident lawyers understand that Super Bowl Sunday is an unofficial American holiday. Unfortunately, it’s also known as one of the most dangerous times to be on our roadways. To help combat these dangers, officers will be out conducting no-refusal sobriety stops, which is supplemented by prosecutors and judges who are on call to draft and serve warrants that force those who officers believe to be intoxicated to take a Breathalyzer test or a blood sample if they refuse. The department has recruited a phlebotomist to help with the enforcement efforts to draw blood on the spot.

The warrants are used to try to speed up the booking processes on those who are suspected to be intoxicated behind the wheel. The effort is targeting repeat offenders as well, who try to avoid prosecution by refusing to offer incriminating evidence. Refusing to take a Breathalyzer test is in fact illegal, but refusing to take one can often work to a repeat offender’s advantage. With a second conviction of drunk driving, a person faces a five-year driver’s license revocation instead of just a three-year suspension for refusing to take the test.

Don’t get your hopes up. Those who refuse to cooperate after they’ve been issued a warrant can face even tougher sentences and a contempt charge.

This is the eighth no-refusal enforcement effort for Kane County. Officials felt that it was necessary to hold one of these enforcement efforts on Super Bowl Sunday because the week before is one of the biggest annual period for alcohol sales — it’s also one of the biggest time for drivers to get behind the wheel after drinking.

“We want people to have fun, to watch the Super Bowl, to rate the commercials and to enjoy the camaraderie of family and friends,” said Joseph McMahon, Kane County State’s Attorney. “But when the game is over, safety and responsibility are in order. Impaired driving is not an option.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that about 175,000 people across the country have pledged to be a designated driver during the upcoming Super Bowl. We would like to remind residents to either pledge to stay sober or to commit yourself to a friend or family member who agrees to be your designated driver.

If you or someone who is close to you has been injured or killed in an alcohol-related car accident in Illinois, the personal injury lawyers and wrongful death lawyers at Abels & Annes offer free and confidential appointments to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.

Additional Resources:

Kane County to step up drunken-driving crackdown on Super Bowl Sunday, by Clifford Ward, Chicago Tribune
More Blog Entries:

Fatalities in Drunk-Driving Accidents in Illinois Drop Over the Years, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, December 30, 2011

State Receives Recognition for Combating Drunk Driving Accidents in Illinois, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, November 21, 2011

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