St. Patrick’s Day is a fun-filled celebration that many people around the world look forward to each year. However, as much as it is an opportunity to let loose and have a good time, it is also a time when impaired driving accidents are at their peak. The Rockford Police Department has released a press statement in which they encourage people to stay safe by driving sober or getting pulled over.

Plan Before You Party

Sheriff Gary Caruana advises that if you plan to drink, use cannabis, or any other impairing substance, it is essential to have a designated driver. This way, you and your friends can get home safely. He also emphasizes that responsible driving is everyone's responsibility, and people should remember that buzzed driving is drunk driving.

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Getty Images

Enforcement Measures

To ensure public safety, the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office will be stepping up seat belt enforcement, particularly at night when seat belt usage rates are lowest. Speeding, distracted driving, and all traffic laws will be strictly enforced.

Tips for Safe Driving

Designating a sober driver and not letting friends drive drunk are simple steps that can help avoid a tragic crash or an arrest for driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. The Rockford Police Department also provides other tips to ensure a safe celebration.

These include:

  • Serving lots of food and non-alcoholic beverages at the party
  • Keeping phone numbers for local cab companies handy and taking the keys away from anyone who is thinking of driving drunk
  • Designating a sober driver before the party begins and giving that person your keys
  • If you do not have a designated driver, ask a sober friend for a ride home, call a cab, a sober friend, or a family member to pick you up or just stay where you are and sleep it off until you are sober
  • Never letting a friend leave your sight if you think they are about to drive drunk
  • Always buckling up
Getty Images
Getty Images

Pedestrian Safety

The Rockford Police Department also reminds pedestrians to be careful when walking, especially in areas where drivers may be impaired. Pedestrians should keep an eye out for cars and follow street signs. Designated drivers should also be alert for impaired walkers who may not obey traffic laws.

St. Patrick’s Day is a time to celebrate and have fun, but safety should always come first. The Rockford Police Department encourages people to plan before they party and to designate a sober driver to ensure that everyone gets home safely. They also remind people to follow traffic laws, buckle up, and stay vigilant to avoid accidents. By taking these simple precautions, everyone can enjoy the holiday without putting their lives or others at risk.

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