The Evanston Police Department would like you to stay alive this Labor Day weekend, so they’re going to be looking for drivers who are either driving drunk, unbuckled ,or distracted.

Their theme is “Drive sober or get pulled over” and they regularly ticket a hundred or so drivers who are either driving erratically, or who forgot to fasten their seat belts  or who can’t keep their eyes off their cell phones.

 “This isn’t about writing tickets or making arrests,” says Traffic Unit Sgt. Tracy Williams. “This is about saving lives and helping people realize impaired driving can be fatal. It’s a matter of life or death.”

The crackdown started today and will continue through Sept. 4, an often deadly time on Illinois roads, Williams contends.

He quotes statistics that show that an average of 10,000 people are killed each year during the Labor Day period. That’s one fatality every 50 minutes, or the equivalent of 20 jumbo jets crashing each year with no survivors.

This Labor Day weekend he wants you to remember to designate a sober driver and don’t let friends or family members drive drunk. Even a small amount of alcohol, he says, can impair judgment and reaction times, making driving unsafe.

The Illinois Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign is administered and funded by the Illinois Department of Transportation with federal dollars managed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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