coronavirus illinois

Driving in Illinois Allowed for ‘Essential Travel Only,' Chicago Police Stress

The roadside checks began at 10 p.m. Tuesday night, according to the department, and will continue until police deem them "unnecessary"

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Drivers in Chicago are being warned by police that travel in Illinois should be limited for essential purposes only.

Chicago police officers began conducting roadside safety and informational check points Tuesday in each police district to provide information to motorists about the state of Illinois’ ongoing stay-at-home order.

They will continue on Wednesday and Thursday nights, according to the department, and will last approximately 45 minutes each night. They are scheduled to take place between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m.

"They started last night they will continue through tonight and until we deem them unnecessary," Interim Police Supt. Charlie Beck said Wednesday. "They're for two purposes: primarily they're traffic enforcement to ensure seatbelt usage and to check for driving under the influence, but they are also being used as informational opportunities to make sure that everybody understands that essential travel is the only thing that's permitted in a vehicle- essential travel only. There's no wandering around or driving around, no going places for no reason. Essential travel only and we will provide that information to people that we stop."

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced a 9 p.m. liquor sales curfew in the city beginning Thursday.

Travel is not prohibited during the “stay-at-home” order, but state officials say that travel can only be done for what it calls “essential” reasons.

Those reasons can include:

-Performing essential activities, governmental functions, business and operations

-Caring for elderly, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities or other vulnerable persons

-Receiving materials for distance learning, receiving meals and any other related services from an educational institution.

-Returning to a place of residence from outside of jurisdiction

-Following the direction of law enforcement or court order, including to transport children pursuant to a custody agreement

-Returning to a place of residence outside the state for non-residents

More than 13,000 people in Illinois, including more than 5,500 in Chicago, have contracted COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

Most recently, the city's police department joined Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot in announcing a liquor sales curfew of 9 p.m. across the city.

Contact Us