DANVILLE — If your Independence Day plans involve getting into a vehicle, buckle up and don't drink and drive.
That's because Danville police will be cracking down on drunk and unbuckled drivers during a special traffic enforcement, which runs through Wednesday. The crackdown is part of the statewide, "Independence Day Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" and Click It or Ticket campaign.
The intensified enforcement will focus on the light-night hours, police said. According to statistics, that's when a disproportionate number of traffic deaths involving drunk and/or unbuckled drivers occur.
"The Fourth of July is one of the deadliest holidays due to an increase in drunk-driving fatalities," Danville Public Safety Director Larry Thomason said. "Too many people die behind the wheel each year due to those who choose to drive after drinking, so our officers will be out in full force ... showing zero tolerance for drunk drivers."
Police recommend two tips to avoid an accident or arrest involving drunk driving such as designating a sober driver and not letting friends or family members drive drunk. Other tips include:
— Plan ahead. Designate a sober driver before going out and give that person your keys.
— If you are drunk, call a taxi, use mass transit or call a sober friend or family member to get you home safely.
— Promptly report drunk drivers you see on the roadways to law enforcement by pulling over and dialing 911.
— Make sure everyone in your vehicle wears their seat belt. It is your best defense against a drunk driver.
The crackdown is funded by federal traffic safety funds through the Illinois Department of Transportation's Division of Traffic Safety.