ALTON, Ill. (KMOV.comO -- Police in Alton, Illinois will conduct a special enforcement operation to reduce drunk driving by teenagers. The crackdown starts Friday, October 17 and goes through Sunday, October 19.
Motor vehicle crashes are the number one killer of 14-18 year-olds in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
"Too often, fun school events can be a deadly and dangerous time on our roadways because of drunk driving," said Alton Police Sergeant, Michael Gordon. "That is why this weekend, we will be working overtime on Roadside Safety Checks to catch and arrest anyone who is driving drunk."
Alton Police recommend designating a sober driver and not letting friends drive drunk. The Department says the safety checks will focus on teen alcohol and drug use, but anyone found in violation of the law will be ticketed.
"Driving drunk is a deadly decision and it is against the law. We will show zero tolerance to all drivers," said Alton Police Chief, Jason Simmons. "So remember, designate a sober driver and always buckle up."
Alton Police are partnering with The Drug Free Alton Coalition for the safety enforcement. The groups will also offer a free event for high school students on Friday, October 17. The event, called 5th Quarter, will be hosted by Calvary Baptist Church. It starts in the gymnasium at 9:30 p.m., following the Alton High School football game and ends at 11:30 p.m.
Local churches will provide transportation from the game to the event. Organizers say an RSVP is not required, but students who need transportation can visit www.drugfreealton.com.
The NHTSA says only 25% of parents speak to their teenage children about the dangers of driving. For a checklist of topics to share with teen drivers, refer to the ‘5 to Drive’ list: