Putting the brakes on drunk drivers

FAIRFIELD, IL (KFVS) - Thanksgiving weekend is one of the busiest and most dangerous times to be out on the road.

That is why law enforcement agencies are going to be out in force, setting up more than 1,700 safety check points throughout the state with a special focus on impaired drivers, and safety belt violations.

The Mothers Against Drunk Drivers are also working to keep you and your family safe.

"I have been working to try to stop drunk driving for the past 23 years," said Linda Sargent.

"Because I have been the victim of a drunk driver twice. It almost killed me, it almost killed my son on two different occasions."

One of the ways Sargent works to stop drunk drivers is with a very graphic power point presentation. That depicts what can happen if you get behind the wheel after drinking.

Her efforts and those of other MADD volunteers is making a difference. The Illinois Department of Transportation is reporting that there were 711 alcohol-related crash deaths in 1999, compared to 436 last year.

"After this many years of talking over and over and over to get the message out, to know that it's finally saving some people's lives. And making a difference really means the world to me," said Sargent.

But, her work is far from done.

This past Thanksgiving there were 15 killed in traffic crashes, nine of them involved drunk drivers.

"When they get into the car and they drive after they've been drinking that makes it my business. Because I may be coming down the road with my family, or you may be coming down the road with your family. And that makes it everyone's business," said Sargent.

"We all need to be more vigilant about watching out for drunk drivers. And call the police and get them off the road before they kill somebody."

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