SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — With the holiday season in full swing, law enforcement agencies across the state are stepping up their efforts to warn of the dangers of impaired driving and to enforce impaired driving laws.

Starting Friday and running through Jan. 2, law enforcement will be conducting a high visibility “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” and “Drive High, Get a DUI” campaign, cracking down on drivers who get behind the wheel intoxicated, high or otherwise impaired.

“We want everyone in our communities to enjoy the holidays without worrying about the dangers of impaired drivers,” law enforcement officials said in a statement. “During the campaign, you can expect to see extra safety patrols. We will show zero tolerance for alcohol- and drug-impaired driving to help ensure everyone makes it to and from their holiday festivities safely.”

More than 11,600 people were killed in crashes in 2020 that involved an alcohol-impaired driver, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System. That’s an average of one death every 45 minutes.

Officials offered several tips to people who are celebrating the holidays with alcohol or who encounter an impaired individual or driver:

  • Designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation or a rise-share service to get home safely
  • Call 911 if an impaired driver is observed on the road
  • Take the keys away from an impaired individual and make arrangements for them to get home safely
  • Always use a seat belt

The holiday enforcement effort is administered by the Illinois department of Transportation using federal highway safety funds managed by the NHTSA.