HIGHLAND PARK – Police in Highland Park arrested six people for driving under the influence in a four-day period during the week of December 19. The youngest arrested was 31 years of age, while the oldest was 56. With New Year’s Eve approaching and many college students home for winter break, not only do parents have to worry about their children driving, but they also should be concerned about other drivers on the road.
DailyNorthShore.com asked Highland Park Deputy Chief Timothy Wilinski what safety measures the Highland Park Police Department will be taking during the upcoming holiday weekend.
Wilinski said the HPPD joined the Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois State Police and other local law enforcement agencies across the state for the Christmas and New Year’s Holiday Period “Click It or Ticket” and “Drive Sober” campaign, which runs from Friday, December 16 through Sunday, January 1, 2017.
“Extra officers will be out in force at night cracking down on seat belt law violators and impaired drivers,” he said. Motorists caught driving unbuckled will be ticketed and those caught driving impaired by drugs or alcohol will be arrested. In addition, officers will be enforcing speeding, cell phone use while driving, and failure to yield to pedestrian violations, he added.
Wilinski shared these statistics:
- In 2015, 35,092 people in the United States were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes, and 29 percent (10,265) died in crashes where the driver had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over the limit of .08.
- Illinois seat belt law requires all front and back seat occupants to buckle up. During statewide observational surveys conducted by IDOT in 2015, the overall usage rate for rear seat occupants was 84.9 percent, versus 95.2 percent for drivers and front seat passengers. Of the 274 fatalities in 2015 that occurred during night time hours, 42 percent were unbuckled.
“It is also important to remember that officers enforce seat belt laws year-round, both day and night,” Wilinski added.
Below are the details of the six individuals who were arrested for Driving Under the Influence, according to the Highland Park Police:
- On December 20, a 31-year-old man of the 1400 block of West Fork Drive, Lake Forest, was arrested and charged with driving under the influence, operating an uninsured motor vehicle and improper lane usage after police conducted a traffic stop in the 1800 block of Half Day Road. He was released on a personal recognizance bond with a court date of January 20, 2017 in Waukegan.
- On December 22, a 50-year-old man of the 1300 block of Carpenter Street, Madison, Wisconsin, was arrested and charged with identity theft, driving under the influence, delivery of a controlled substance and improper lane usage after police conducted a traffic stop in the 1700 block of Skokie Valley Road. He was transported to bond court in Waukegan.
- The second December 22 incident involved a 45-year-old man of the 300 block of Walker Avenue, Highland Park, who was arrested and charged with driving under the influence, obstructing a peace officer and illegal transportation of alcohol after police responded to an accident in the 300 block of Walker Avenue. He was released on a personal recognizance bond with a court date of January 27, 2017 in Waukegan.
- The final December 22 incident involved a 47-year-old woman of the 100 block of North Avenue, Lake Forest, who was arrested and charged with driving under the influence and impeding traffic after police conducted a traffic stop near the intersection of Hyacinth Place and Western Avenue. She was released on a recognizance bond with a court date of January 20, 2017 in Waukegan.
- Two incidents occurred on December 23. The first involved a 51-year-old man of the 900 block of Waukegan Road, Deerfield, who was arrested and charged with driving under the influence after police conducted a traffic stop in the 1200 block of Fredrickson Place. He was released on a recognizance bond with a court date of February 5, 2017 in Waukegan.
- The second incident involved a 56-year-old woman of the 1800 block of Deerfield Road, Highland Park, who was arrested and charged with driving under the influence, leaving the scene of an accident, no valid driver’s license, operating an uninsured motor vehicle and obstructing a peace officer after police responded to an accident in the 1600 block of Deerfield Road. She was released on a personal recognizance bond with a court date of January 27, 2017 in Waukegan.
On December 27, the City of Highland Park posted the following safety guidelines for New Year’s Eve:
- Don’t Leave Your Drink Unattended. Keep an eye on your beverage at all times and don’t accept beverages from strangers, which you did not see poured yourself.
- Be safe, watch your drink, stay hydrated and monitor your alcohol intake.
- Don’t Drink and Drive
- Statistics show that drinking and driving accidents increase over the holidays. If you plan to drink, make arrangements to have a sober driver; have a sober friend or family member pick you up, download a ride share app on your phone, call a taxi or sleep over. If your friend seems too drunk to drive, take their keys and make arrangements.
- Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Be alert to how others are acting and stay away from those who are out of control and might cause harm. If someone is really intoxicated, prevent them from trying to drive or call for help. Stick to the buddy system in large crowds and never leave with anyone you don’t know.