Illinois drivers better not think about it on St. Patrick’s Day

Due to the perfect way March 17 falls on a Friday this year, you have multiple days to party and wear green to commemorate St. Patrick’s Day, the Saturday before (March 11) and the day we let’s celebrate.

Watch out for drivers under the influence this weekend

And that just means two more days of intoxicated humans have the potential to make bad decisions.

Don’t even think about drinking, smoking or eating and getting behind the wheel this St. Patrick’s Day weekend because the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office will be there to enforce all traffic laws and monitor impaired drivers.

This year, St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Friday, which means more parties throughout the weekend. If you have used alcohol, cannabis or any other impaired driving drug, do the right thing and arrange for a sober driver to get you and your friend home safely. Before you put your keys in the ignition, remember: “Driving while buzzing is drunk driving. -Sheriff Gary Caruana

Winnebago County Sheriff’s Deputies will actively enforce seat belt laws, especially at night, as that is when statistically the fewest people wear them.

Speeding and dangerous distractions like texting and driving will also be “strictly enforced,” according to the Winnebago County Sheriff.

Other tips for a safe St. Patrick’s Day celebration from the Winnebago County Sheriff include:

  • Remember that you can be held liable and sued if someone you serve is involved in an impaired driving accident.
  • Make sure all guests designate a sober driver ahead of time, or help arrange carpooling with other sober drivers.
  • Serve lots of food and include lots of soft drinks at the party.
  • Keep the phone numbers of local taxi companies handy and keep the keys away from anyone planning to drive drunk.
  • Designate a sober driver before the party starts and give them your keys.
  • If you don’t have a designated driver, ask a sober friend to take you home, call a taxi, sober friend or family member to pick you up, or just stay where you are and sleep until that you are sober.
  • Never let a friend take your eyes off you if you think they are about to drive drunk.
  • Always buckle up.

So if you plan on consuming alcohol or cannabis, make sure you have a ride home or use a rideshare app.

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