What do drunk drivers say?: DUI drivers will be targeted Saturday night


Chicago Police Department's (CPD) 14th (Shakespeare) District officers will be concentrating on erratic driving behavior in the 14th District  from 6 p.m. Sat., Mar. 4 until 2 a.m. Sun. Mar. 5, during a DUI (driving under the influence) Saturation Patrol. 

During the patrol, a pre-designated area is saturated with roving police officers who continually monitor vehicular traffic for signs of impaired driving. They also place an emphasis on speed, alcohol-related and safety belt violations. Their vehicles are equipped for speed detection and are deployed to apprehend speeding violators. 

What do drivers say?
According to the second annual public opinion survey conducted by the Traffic Injury Research Foundation USA (TIRF USA), self-reported drunk driving increased substantially in 2016 compared to the previous year. 

Of the 5,050 individuals surveyed by the online poll, 5.5% said they had driven impaired often or very often in 2016, compared to 4% in 2015. In addition, 11.7% of the respondents said that they thought they were legally impaired at least once in the past year, compared to just 8% the previous year. 

TIRF USA notes that a larger trend can’t be determined from two years of data. But, the results are especially concerning because of recent DUI deaths. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that alcohol-related traffic fatalities increased 3.2% in 2015, to 10,265. Furthermore, NHTSA noted the year-over-year increase is the largest in nearly 50 years.

Reasons for drunk driving
Surveyed drivers reported they chose to get behind the wheel when they thought they were over the legal limit because they:

  1. Thought they were okay to drive (43.7%)
  2. Didn’t have very far to go (12.6%)
  3. Thought they could drive carefully (10.9%) 

Of those surveyed, younger men and drivers who had received traffic tickets were more likely to drive when they thought they were under the influence.


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