Survey Shows Rockford Leads Illinois in Drunk Driving Arrests

Posted on in DUI

drunk driving arrestOn July 1st, the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists (AAIM) released its annual survey charting arrests for driving under the influence throughout the State of Illinois. AAIM is a citizens’ group, partly funded by the Illinois Department of Transportation, that focuses on helping victims of drunk driving in the State of Illinois. The group is perhaps best known for its “Drunkbusters” program, which encourages citizens to report drunk or erratic driving to police.

AAIM Actions

For more than 20 years, AAIM has surveyed state and local police departments throughout Illinois to document DUI arrests. According to the most recent survey, which included more than 700 police departments and covered drunk driving arrests in 2013, the Rockford police recorded the most DUI arrests of any department for the seventh consecutive year. Rockford tallied 556 arrests, which actually represented a 20 percent decrease from 2012. Naperville finished a close second with 553 arrests, followed by Decatur (485), Springfield (410), and Carol Stream (392).

Overall, 23 municipal police departments reported 200 or more drunk driving arrests for 2013. The biggest increase was in Champaign, which jumped from 83 arrests in 2012 to 200 arrests in 2013—a 141 percent increase. Chicago Heights saw the next largest year-to-year increase at 63 percent. Bloomington reported a 55 percent increase. Other significant increases came in Loves Park (48 percent), Lombard (41 percent) and Gurnee (41 percent). On the positive side, several departments reported significant decreases in arrests. As noted above, Rockford reported a 20 percent decline. Other notable declines took place in Aurora (22 percent), Elgin (22 percent) and Fairview Heights (21 percent).

AAIM also tracks arrests per officer, which it says is a good measure of a department's effectiveness in combating drunk driving. The Illinois State Police reported 9,302 arrests by 1,818 sworn officers—a rate of 5.12 DUI arrests per officer. In contrast, the nearly 12,000 officers of the Chicago Police Department made approximately 3,400 DUI arrests, a rate of just 0.28 per officer. Rockford, which led municipalities in total arrests, averaged just under 2 arrests per officer. Carol Stream reported the highest arrest rate per officer in the state at 6.43. Loves Park finished second at 6.30. Among Illinois counties, LaSalle had the highest rate at 5.46, reflecting 213 arrests by just 39 sworn officers. The next-highest county (Winnebago) only reported an arrest rate of 1.78.

Arrest Is Not Conviction

It is important to note this survey only documents drunk driving arrests and should not be confused with convictions. A person arrested on DUI charges is still innocent until proven guilty in an Illinois court. That is why, if you or someone you know is arrested on drunk driving charges, you need the experience of an Illinois criminal defense attorney who can ensure your rights are protected. Contact the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel LLC, Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney today if you require assistance.

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