CHICAGO (CBS) – About 75 people gathered for a candlelight vigil at the Thompson Center this afternoon to remember victims of drunk driving.
Members of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists and people who have lost family members to drunk drivers were joined by elected officials including Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.
Alvarez told grieving families: “I know that no conviction, no sentence will ever bring your loved ones back. But we’re to make sure that whoever is responsible is held responsible.
Alvarez also implored people to be careful over the holidays, “Let’s hope that the streets are safer and that people wake up and people realize when they go to these parties that they don’t overdo it, that they don’t get behind that wheel.”
That sentiment was echoed by Secretary of State Jesse White.
“During the holiday season,” White said,”we’ve asked everyone within the sound of my voice that if you’re going to celebrate, celebrate in a responsible manner.”
There are about 40,000 drunk driving arrests in Illinois each year.
White says a device that tests alcohol levels and locks a car’s ignition — the “Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device” (BAIID) — has been in service for several years in Illinois, put on the cars of some drunk drivers, and has helped cut down significantly on drunk driving.
“The roads are safer because there was a study made that said individuals who have had this device put in their automobile – 67% of them have NOT gotten a DUI.”
The device requires drivers to blow into it to test their alcohol level. If someone else blows into and is caught, they could get a year in jail.