With St. Patrick’s Day just around the corner, the South Beloit Police Department is reminding motorists to plan ahead for a sober ride home to keep celebrations from turning deadly.

We understand people are looking for a reason to celebrate, but we urge you to do so safely.  While festivities may look different this year, the basics remain the same: If you’ll be drinking or using cannabis or another impairing substance, make the right choice to find a sober driver to get you and your friends home safely.

In addition to patrolling for alcohol- and drug-impaired drivers, the South Beloit Police Department will be stepping up seat belt enforcement, particularly at night when seat belt usage rates are lowest. Speed limits and distracted driving laws will also be strictly enforced.

Designating a sober driver and not letting friends drive impaired are two simple steps to help avoid a tragic crash or an arrest for driving under the influence.

Other important tips:

  • If you do not have a designated driver, ask a sober friend for a ride home, call a cab, sober friend or family member to pick you up, or stay where you are and sleep it off until you are sober.
  • Buckle up. It’s your best defense in the event of a crash.
  • Remember, pedestrians are at risk, too. If you are walking, keep an eye out for cars. If you’re driving, remain alert for impaired walkers who may not obey street signs.

The St. Patrick’s Day “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign is funded by federal traffic safety funds from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and is administered through the Illinois Department of Transportation.