As our Illinois car accident lawyers have previously reported, during the holiday season, there is an increased number of drunk drivers on the road. This is because people are likely to be leaving holiday festivities where alcohol may have been consumed. Yesterday, we saw that the Chicago Sun-Times posted an article online that stated that if drivers report drunk drivers on the road, they could receive $100 from an anti-drunk driving group.
The Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists has created this program called Drunkbusters, and is starting to spread it throughout the state of Illinois for the next two upcoming weeks. If a caller reports an impaired driver that is later arrested for driving under the influence, the caller can receive $100. In some Illinois counties, the program runs year round, however for this holiday season, the program is being expanded state-wide.
Since Drunkbusters began over 20 years ago, the group has paid out close to $450,000 to callers who identify and phone in drunk drivers, and has also helped to arrest over 4,450 drivers. The article reports that “The program is funded by fines collected from convicted drunk drivers.” Mothers Against Drunk Driving notes that the holiday season can bring incredible risk and danger to drivers on roadways and highways because of drunk driving. Although the NHTSA reported that drunk driving related fatalities decreased in 2010, groups such as MADD and the NHTSA are still working towards eliminating this statistic. Last year, in the second half of the month of December, over 400 people were killed in under-the-influence related crashes.
As our Chicago car accident lawyers have said in some of our previous blogs, drunk driving is completely avoidable and preventable. During the holiday season, it is crucial to make sure that there is always a designated driver or another way home from a festive holiday party. If there is no designated driver, try finding an alternative ride home, such as a sober family member or friend. When a family member or friend cannot drive you, take a taxi cab or public transportation. Worst comes to worst, sleep at the host’s to prevent endangering yourself by getting in the car drunk, and also to prevent bringing potential serious harm to others on the road.
Our Chicago accident lawyers hope that our readers will have a safe, healthy, and happy holiday and New Years with their loved ones and friends. However, we also hope that people who are intoxicated will remain off the road in order to ensure that everyone’s holiday season remains a happy and joyous one to celebrate, instead of one spent in a hospital or even mourning over the loss of a loved one. Drunk driving is a serious crime and cannot only endanger the driver themselves, but anyone who is on the road with them.