Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Naperville DUI Arrests Again Top DuPage County Municipalities

According to the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists, Naperville DUI arrests have once again topped DuPage County DUI statistics.For the fifth straight year, Rockford has cuffed more drunken-driving suspects than any other Illinois city outside Chicago, according to an annual survey by the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists.
A total of 686 drivers were arrested in Rockford last year, followed by Naperville with 622 and Springfield with 553
The Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists gathered DUI arrest data from more than 500 police departments around the state through a grant from the Illinois Department of Transportation.
AAIM officials say topping the list does not necessarily mean a city has more drunken drivers than other cities and is instead a credit to those departments' enforcement.

In Rockford, four traffic investigators are dedicated to arresting drunken drivers, and the city uses technology to map problem areas, according to Lt. Christine Bishop, the department's traffic commander.
"We take drinking and driving very seriously in Rockford because it's a needless, senseless crime," Bishop said. "People die because of drunk drivers, and it's completely preventable."
Rounding out the top 10 cities for DUI arrests are Rock Island (465), Decatur (448), Elmhurst (367), Elgin (352), Carol Stream (349), Peoria (306) and Normal (296).

In Chicago, which was counted separately, police collared 3,037 DUI suspects in 2011, down about 17.8 percent from the year before. Illinois State Police arrested 9,719 DUI suspects in 2011, a 9.5 percent drop.
AAIM also ranks departments by DUI arrest rates, which places Itasca on top with 11.48 arrests per officer per year followed by Carol Stream with 5.63 and Rock Island with 5.60.

Marti Belluschi, AAIM board vice president and a crash survivor, said drunken driving trends in recent years have been a mixed bag. Statewide, DUI arrests have been going down, falling to 41,900 in 2010, down from 48,113 in 2008, according to Illinois secretary of state figures. Belluschi hopes the decline means awareness programs are having an impact but said police budget cuts also are likely to have played a role.

Brent Christensen, a Wheaton DUI attorney suggests that money and not public safety concerns is the primary if unspoken motivation behind the leading DUI municipalities. "With respect to DuPage County DUI statistics, the municipalities at the top of the list charge their DUI under local ordinance rather than State Statute," Christensen said.  AAIM stats confirms that other towns like Oak Brook, Downers Grove, Lombard, Bloomingdale, Glendale Heights , Villa Park and Wheaton all set minimum fines unlike towns like Bensenville, Hanover Park, Lisle and Hinsdale, which use the Illinois State Statute on DUIs.

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