Police Urge Using Designated Driver For St. Patrick's Day Celebrating

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CHICAGO (AP) -- Illinois State Police, local law enforcement agencies and transportation officials are urging those attending St. Patrick's Day celebrations to use a designated driver after drinking.

State and local police plan an increased presence on roadways across the state through the March 17 holiday in order to crack down on drunk drivers. Officials say about $650,000 in federal highway safety dollars will fund roadside safety checks, impaired driving checks and seat belt enforcement efforts.

Illinois Department of Transportation data shows that ten people over the past five years have lost their lives in motor vehicle crashes on St. Patrick's Day. Officials say two of those fatalities resulted from crashes in which a driver had been drinking alcohol.

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