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More Cops Than Ever Looking For Drunk, Distracted Drivers

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Police from the state, the city and the suburbs say that starting Thursday more officers than ever before will be involved in a stepped-up effort to deal with drunk and distracted drivers heading into the Labor Day weekend.

The state’s Department of Transportation says that more police presence and public relations efforts, like “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” are making a difference.

Shannon Alderman, the alcohol program coordinator with IDOT, said: “In 2007, 374 people died in drunk driving crashes in Illinois, compared to 233 in 2011.”

From midnight to 3 a.m., when most drunk driving crashes occur, fatalities were down 41 percent.

Kerry Canard, of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, says almost 10,000 die nationally in alcohol-related crashes.

State police Lt. David Byrd says they’re looking for distracted drivers, as well.

He says the results of a recent texting detail were alarming.

“We’re talking about almost 100 tickets in an hour and a half, almost 2 hours; that’s a lot,” he said.

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