IMPAIRED DRIVING ARRESTS DOWN TO DUE TO COVID PANDEMIC: DECATUR POLICE DEPARTMENT TOP IN STATE IN DUI ARRESTS

 

DUI arrests and other law enforcement efforts are the most significant deterrents to impaired driving. The Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists (AAIM) is pleased to release the results of our Annual Illinois DUI Arrest Survey for 2020. AAIM has conducted this survey, which is funded by a grant from the Illinois Department of Transportation, for 31 years. Since 1990, AAIM has conducted an annual survey of Illinois police departments to determine how many DUI arrests they make and to give recognition to the most productive departments and police officers. Nearly 700 police agencies were surveyed with 77% responding. AAIM not only praises these departments and individual officers, but we also continue to encourage them to keep up the fight against drunk driving.

     The Decatur Police Department is first in the state in DUI arrests among municipal departments with 344 arrests for 2020. (Because of its size, Chicago is in its own category.) “The Decatur Police Department understands the incredible danger that impaired driving poses to the community,” states Decatur Police Chief James Getz, Jr. “As such, for several years we have made DUI enforcement one of the priorities in our daily duties.” “I am proud of the hard work the men and women of the DPD have put into keeping our roadways safe,” said Getz.

     In 2020, Rockford was second with 304 arrests, Bloomington (254), Naperville (242), Elgin (233), Carol Stream (224), Waukegan (222), Lombard (220), Cicero (217), Springfield (215), and Aurora (200).

     “Every now and then, something happens that creates a lasting memory, 2020 was a year that we will never forget. The real eye-opener is the moment when people understand the value in law enforcement officers, their dedication to keep our communities safe, and their commitment to DUI enforcement. AAIM has great respect for all these departments and their diligence in removing impaired drivers from our roads,” said AAIM Executive Director Rita Kreslin.

     The biggest increase in arrests among the top departments was in Waukegan (18%). Because of the World-Wide Covid Pandemic and the State of Illinois “Stay at Home” mandate, most other departments had a decrease in the number of DUI arrests. The highest DUI arrest rate in the state among departments making at least 200 arrests was Carol Stream, which had 3.80 arrests per sworn officer.

     Since 2006, Carol Stream has been one of the top ten departments in DUI arrests per officer. This small department continues their significant impact in saving lives. The second highest rate of 3.49 was in Lombard. Arrests per officer are an indicator of a department’s emphasis on DUI enforcement and are a measure that can be used to compare smaller departments. Arrests made by the Chicago Police decreased by 30.8% in 2020 (2,240) compared to 2019 (3,235). Illinois State Police arrests increased by 19.1% in 2019 (5,947) compared to 2019 (4,994).

     The sheriff’s department reporting the most DUI arrests was Lake County (310), while McHenry (203), DeKalb (168), Cook (163) and Will (150) Counties round out the top five sheriff departments. Illinois’ Top Cop with 259 DUI arrests is Illinois State Police Trooper Eric David. AAIM also commends ISP Trooper Lucas Sniady with 187 DUI arrests, Officer Alberto Zayas, Chicago Police with 115 arrests, ISP Trooper James Knaperek, with 102 DUI arrests, and, Chicago Police Officer Jeffrey Kriv who arrested 101 drunk drivers, for their lifesaving efforts.

     “A multitude of consequences can accompany the decision to drive under the influences of alcohol or drugs. Impaired driving is a choice and the aftermath can be avoided by simply choosing not to drive impaired – it’s as simple as that. Hurting or killing someone because you made a choice to drive impaired is heartbreaking and life-changing,” said Kreslin. AAIM is an Illinois-only citizen activist group founded in 1982 by victims of drunk driving. Prevention, victim advocacy, and legislation encompass the mission of AAIM, a recognized Illinois expert on these issues. The survey provides a valuable service to Illinois citizens by encouraging them to compare the DUI enforcement record of their local police department with that of other communities. As a result, public pressure can be applied, where needed, to encourage DUI enforcement as a priority.

     A detailed listing of survey results and participating departments is available at: www.aaim1.org

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