Executive Director's Blog
Executive Director's Blog
IDOT and Law Enforcement Launch Intensive Impaired Driving Crackdown
Message is Simple, “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over”
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) have partnered with Illinois State Police and local law enforcement agencies across the state to kick off the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” mobilization, an intensive, two-week crackdown on impaired driving leading up to the Labor Day holiday. From August 19th through September 5th, the Illinois State Police join over 350 local police departments and county sheriff’s offices for the crackdown.
“Impaired driving is a serious crime plaguing our society, and affecting the lives of innocent, law abiding motorists on a regular basis,” said Acting Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider. “IDOT will not waver in its strong commitment to directly fight against this careless and reckless act of indecency. The “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over”, message and mobilization serves as a warning to those who choose to drive impaired in Illinois…law enforcement will find and arrest you, no exceptions,” added Schneider.
For the next two weeks, law enforcement agencies across the state will conduct over 200 roadside safety checks and hundreds of additional hours of impaired driving and safety belt saturation patrols. In addition, motorists are being warned to buckle up or risk getting a ticket.
In Illinois, impaired driving and the lack of safety belt use are two problems that often take place at night. According to data from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the midnight to 3 a.m. timeframe is the deadliest time on Illinois roadways. The data also shows this time of day has the highest percentage of alcohol involvement and the lowest safety belt use.
“Illinois State Police want motorists to arrive at their final destinations safely during the holiday weekend and will be targeting designated areas looking for speeders, seatbelt violators, and DUI offenders,” said ISP Director Hiram Grau. “Violating these laws can result in fines and possible jail time and will be treated as criminal acts by the police and court system,” he added.
Illinois has experienced a continued decrease in impaired driving fatal motor vehicle crashes in the past few years. The fact remains, however, that impaired drivers still play a role in over 300 highway deaths and hundreds more serious injuries each year.
During last year’s Labor Day weekend (6 p.m. on Friday before Labor Day to 11:59 p.m. of Labor Day), 12 people lost their lives in motor vehicle crashes and one of the fatalities involved a drinking driver. Additionally, 763 people were injured during the same weekend. Data for the last five years (2006-2010) during the Labor Day weekend report a total of 70 fatalities- with 25 of the 70 fatalities or 36 percent, involving an impaired driver.
The “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign is administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation’s Division of Traffic Safety. The campaign features stepped-up enforcement supported by an intensive two-week media campaign intended to deter individuals from driving impaired. For more information on IDOT’s Traffic Safety program against impaired driving, log on to http://www.trafficsafety.illinois.gov/#DSI.
GUTIERREZ ANNOUNCES SEPT. 10 COMMUNITY MEETING IN CHICAGO
GUTIERREZ ANNOUNCES SEPT. 10 COMMUNITY
MEETING IN CHICAGO AND BROADER EFFORT TO
INFORM IMMIGRANTS ABOUT OBAMA'S
NEW DEPORTATION POLICIES
New prioritization guidelines came after sustained advocacy campaign
targeting President Obama, led by Rep. Gutierrez
(Chicago) – Today, Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL) announced plans for a September 10 Community Forum on Immigration in Chicago to disseminate information about what President Obama's new prioritization policies mean for immigrants facing deportation. The Chicago event, which will be held at 10 a.m. at Benito Juarez High School in Chicago, will kick-off a broader effort led by the Congressman to provide accurate and timely information to lawyers, advocates, immigrants and their families as the new procedures are put in place. The Congressman is concerned that immigrants anxious for legal status or facing deportation will fall prey to scam artists promising to sign people up for a fee to a legalization program that does not and will not exist.
"To the community we are saying, 'Be patient and be careful,'" the Congressman said at a press conference in Chicago. "We do not want you to fall victim to false promises and those who would exploit your hopes and fears for profit. We will work hard in the coming days to clarify these new policies and get you correct information."
Rumors, misinformation, and outright fraud runs rampant at times like these when a policy has been announced but not clearly defined, so Rep. Gutierrez is working with service providers, legal experts, community-based organizations, and immigrant groups across the country to address the information gap.
Next week in Washington, the Congressman is convening senior officials at ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to discuss how the new policy will work and how Congressional offices that work with constituents whose families are facing deportation can ensure that cases are reviewed. Later today (at 8 and 9 p.m. ET), the Congressman will participate in nationwide conference calls in English and Spanish with tens of thousands of immigrants, advocates and allies to discuss the new policies, part of a national outreach plan. (More information and registration for the conference callshere: http://reformimmigrationforamerica.org/blog/blog/national-call-about-dhs-announcement-on-830/
On August 18, the Obama Administration announced it would review pending deportation cases on a case-by-case basis to remove certain low priority immigrants from the deportation cue. These include non-criminals and those with deep roots in the U.S. like the immediate family members of U.S. citizens and service members and those who have been living in the U.S. from a young age.
The new prioritization guidelines came after a sustained advocacy campaign targeting President Obama who has increased deportations rapidly and broadened immigration enforcement since taking office. Ever since the DREAM Act failed to overcome a Republican-led filibuster in the Senate in November 2010, Rep. Gutierrez has been meeting with the President, fighting for reform legislation, traveling the country for rallies and hearing the stories of families being split apart by the escalating deportations. Now the Congressman wants to ensure that immigrants in Chicago and nationwide know the scope of the new policy and what it means for them and their loved ones.
"The President recognizes that too many families and innocent bystanders were getting caught up in his effort to deport serious criminals and he has acted to address that, at least in part," Rep. Gutierrez said at the press conference which was held at the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (www.icirr.org), where he was joined by Chicago immigrant leaders and families who may be able to temporarily avoid deportation because of the new policies.
"The new policies move us in the right direction by targeting scarce law enforcement resources at criminals and gang-bangers and making our communities safer," the Congressman said. "Now we have to take the positive actions of the Obama Administration and make sure it translates into actually protecting DREAM Act students and making sure families are not split apart."
Flyers for the September 10 Community Forum on Immigration at Benito Juarez High School can be found here: http://www.gutierrez.house.gov/images/stories/DHS_FORUM_FLYER_EngSpan.pdf
SAVE THE DATE: COMMUNITY FORUM ON IMMIGRATION - Saturday, September 10, 2011
I will continue to highlight certain programs of interest that may not easily fit into our web site calendar yet important. Feel free to call or email the contact listed for details and we look forward to seeing you there.
SAVE THE DATE: COMMUNITY FORUM ON IMMIGRATION
Saturday, September 10, 2011, Benito Juarez High School in Chicago, 1450-1510 W Cermak Rd. Chicago,
DHS Announcement on Deportations:
What does it mean for my family and community?
Advocates, attorneys, immigrants and interested members of the public welcome
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on August 18, 2011, the creation of a working group that will review on a case-by-case basis the 300,000 pending deportations and take individuals who are not criminals and have important ties to the United States out of the deportation pipeline. The working group will also prevent low priority cases from entering the deportation system in the future.
This DHS announcement is a tremendous victory for all of us who have worked so hard to protect families, children and DREAM-eligible individuals from aggressive enforcement practices and for balance in our nation's deportation policies. This forum will help to ensure the community is well informed about the deportation policy change so that we maximize the number of individuals who will benefit and minimize the number who fall prey to bad actor "notarios" and scam artists who misrepresent the DHS announcement for profit.
COMMUNITY FORUM ON IMMIGRATION
WHO: Congressman Gutierrez and invited guests/experts
WHAT: Community Forum About Recent DHS Announcement
WHERE: Benito Juarez High School in Chicago, 1450-1510 W. Cermak Chicago
WHEN: September 10, 2011, time TBD