On Friday, as we were heading into St. Patrick's Day Weekend, I posted a piece here called "This Weekend, Saying No to a Breathalyzer Means Saying Yes to a Jail Visit." I pointed out that area law enforcement would be doing roadside safety checks to keep impaired drivers off the roads, and that refusing a breathalyzer test would land you in jail. It appears that not everyone listened.

Even if you don't care about the safety of others, or even yourself, you'll probably care about what it will end up costing you should you get a DUI.

Illinois has good reason to be concerned about DUIs – over 35,000 people are arrested yearly for the offense in Illinois and 300 people a year die from alcohol-related crashes. A first offense DUI in Illinois entails both criminal penalties and prolonged license reinstatement process upon conviction. Note, the State of Illinois estimates that the total cost of a first time DUI (including raised insurance rates, temporary loss of income, court costs and other expenses at $16,000.

I don't know about you, but as much as I love a good beer, I've never tasted one that even comes close to being worth $16,000.

Six area residents are probably feeling that way right about now. Six arrests were made for driving under the influence, with another 17 being arrested for other offenses including non-use of seatbelts, registration issues, or drugs & alcohol found in the car. The Illinois State Police point out that 40% of fatal crashes involve alcohol, so be ready for more "No Refusal" weekends in the future.

And remember, no matter how clever you may be, they're still going to get you:

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