DOWNTOWN — Chicago police said Thursday they will run special DUI patrols Downtown, in Lincoln Park and in Old Town to monitor for impaired driving this weekend.
The DUI Strike Force Patrols will begin at 7 p.m. Friday in the city's Central Police District and last through 3 a.m. Saturday. They resume at 7 p.m. Saturday to 3 a.m. Sunday.
"The purpose of this program is to saturate a pre-designated area with roving police officers that continually monitor vehicular traffic for signs of impaired driving," police said in a statement. "Patrols also place emphasis on speed, alcohol-related and safety belt violations."
The police department's Central District stretches roughly from 25th Street to Wacker Drive, and from Lake Michigan to Interstate 94. The Near North District is bounded by Fullerton Avenue, Lake Michigan, and two branches of the Chicago River.
The DUI patrols are part of a larger citywide safety initiative over the holiday weekend, where officers will blanket the city and police shifts will be extended to 12 hours. Earlier this week, Mayor Rahm Emanuel ordered police to "secure every part of the city" in preparation for the July 4th holiday, when Chicago typically sees an uptick in violent crime.
Last year, 13 people in Chicago were killed and 70 were wounded over the long holiday weekend.