The night before Thanksgiving is often one of the most popular drinking nights of the year, and Illinois police are taking extra measures to cut down on the number of drunk drivers.
Thanksgiving and Black Friday are two of the more well-known days on the extended holiday weekend, but it’s tonight -Blackout Wednesday as it is known by some young people – that is of the most concern to local police.
“Obviously stores will be busy, we have plenty of establishments here which will be serving liquor,” said Batavia police director Kevin Bretz. “But we’re prepared for anything that comes up.”
Batavia police aren’t the only ones amping up their DUI patrols. Similar to years past, Kane County will be conducting a “No Refusal” program. Under normal circumstances, a person does not need to submit to a blood or breath test unless they give consent or an officer presents the suspect with a warrant. A warrant typically takes a few hours to be approved by a judge, but tonight and through this weekend judges will be available to sign off on search warrants around the clock. This means suspected drunk drivers will be required to submit to a test once presented with a search warrant or face the consequences.
The Geneva Police Department is also letting residents know that’s they’ll be stepping up DUI patrols. The department will have two extra squad cars out on the roads between 9 p.m. Wednesday and 3 a.m Thursday to catch any patrons who drive home from the bar when they should be in a cab.
“The purpose is to be proactive and hopefully deter poor decisions on the part of drivers,” said Geneva patrol operations commander Julie Nash.
Added police presence and better decisions from drivers should help reduce the number of fatal and non-fatal accidents this holiday weekend. Last year seven people died in car accidents during Thanksgiving weekend, and three of those crashes involved a drunk driver. In all, 723 drivers suffered an injury in a car accident over the holiday weekend last year.
Brett Appelman Comments
Make good decisions out there tonight. The night before Thanksgiving is one of the biggest nights for drunk drivers of the year. Not only are you more likely to get pulled over if you drive drunk, you could end up injured if you are struck by a drunk driver.
Plan a ride home before you start drinking. A $40 cab ride is much better than a $10,000 DUI bill because you made a poor choice. If you do end up in a rough spot this weekend, give us a call at (630) 717-7801. Have a wonderful holiday!
Related source: Chicago Tribune