Get Home Safely This New Year's Eve
Yorkville police have a simple message for New Year's Eve revelers: Don't drink and drive.
David Delaney has a message for anyone hitting the town on New Year's Eve: Don't drive drunk.
"If we catch you, we have zero tolerance," said Delaney, deputy chief with the Yorkville Police Department. "We will arrest you."
And Delaney has something else to add: Being arrested for drunk driving is expensive. Factoring in attorneys' fees, fines and court costs, the average DUI charge will cost motorists from $4,000 to $5,000, Delaney said. Those motorists who are convicted will also lose their driving privileges for a year to two years.
The Yorkville Police Department also distributes the names of people charged with drunk driving to the local media.
Delaney's point is simple, then: This New Year's Eve—or on any night, actually—don't risk driving if you've been drinking.
"The most important thing is that this is a life-and-death issue," Delaney said. "You run the possibility of not only killing yourself but also killing or injuring innocent people coming back from a normal night out, people trying to enjoy themselves."
Encouraging People to Plan Ahead
The Yorkville Police Department isn't alone in urging local residents to enjoy the New Year's Eve holiday responsibly. The department is joined by a private advocacy group and the Kendall County Sheriff's Office in promoting that simple message.
The Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists (AAIM) is based in Schaumburg but monitors court proceedings and hosts victims' speakers panels for drunk-driving defendants in Kendall County and other counties in Northern Illinois.
"During this time of year, drunk-driving crashes are so much more prevalent," said Rita Kreslin, deputy director of AAIM. "We are always encouraging people to plan ahead and have a designated sober driver. Drunken-driving deaths, unfortunately, are all over the headlines and the news. It won't ever go away. But we have to try to encourage safe rides."
Increased Police Presence
Both the Yorkville Police Department and the Kendall County Sheriff's Office will step up their presence on local roadways on New Year's Eve. They'll be particularly focused on spotting and pulling over suspected drunk drivers.
"Our message is simple: No matter what you drive, if we catch you speeding, driving while impaired, not wearing your seatbelt or failing to secure a child in an approved child safety seat, we will issue you a citation, no exceptions, no excuses," said Phil Smith, police operations commander with the Kendall County Sheriff's Office, in a written statement. "We will be out in force conducting increased traffic enforcement to prevent automobile crashes, to get drunk drivers off the road and to save lives that might otherwise be lost."
Kreslin said it's important for New Year's Eve revelers to pick a designated driver before they leave for their night's celebration. It's equally important for that designated driver to refrain from drinking throughout the evening.
Revelers also can call local taxi services for rides home if they've been drinking.
AAIM is partnering this year with local taxi service American Taxi Dispatch (an operator suggested calling at least two hours in advance for a taxi to ensure one was available in the Yorkville area). The company has provided AAIM with coupons that people can cash in for reduced taxi fares on New Year's Eve.
AAIM has already mailed or handed out hundreds of these coupons. Residents can pick up coupons at AAIM's office, 870 E. Higgins Rd., Suite 131, in Schaumburg. The alliance also hopes to begin offering the coupons at its website so that revelers can print them out and use them on New Year's Eve.