Rockford and a DuPage County suburb topped the state in drunk driving arrests in 2015 according to a statewide survey released last week.
Rockford and Carol Stream shared top honors among municipal departments (excluding Chicago) with 464 arrests as Rockford totals were fueled by a more than 20 percent jump from last year.
Carol Stream, meanwhile, boasted a 31.8 percent increase and the state’s highest arrest rate with 7.61 arrests per sworn officer. Since 2007, Carol Stream has been one of the top three departments in DUI arrests per officer.
Elgin, Cicero, Fairview Heights, Normal, Aurora and Berwyn also recorded increases of 11 percent or more.
Others in the top 10 in total arrests included: Decatur (405), Springfield (385), Naperville (369), Peoria (309), Normal (306), Cicero (300), Elgin (271) and Aurora (253).
Drunk driving arrests in Peoria increased dramatically 2014 and 2015, the largest jump among Illinois cities. Peoria police made 309 drunk driving arrests in 2015 — and 83.9 percent jump — to rank fifth overall while the city recorded 168 drunk driving arrests in 2014.
The Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists’ annual survey, funded by a grant from the Illinois Department of Transportation, is now in its 26th year. Nearly 700 police agencies were surveyed with 81% responding.
“Over the last three decades, progress has been made to help eliminate the devastation caused by impaired driving in Illinois. While frustratingly slow, many lives have been saved,” said Rita Kreslin, AAIM Executive Director. “Focused efforts and cooperation of law enforcement agencies, traffic safety advocates and communities have helped to prevent crashes and save thousands of lives.”
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 81% 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.
Arrests made by the Chicago Police decreased minimally by 0.2% in 2015 (3,315) compared to 2014 (3,321), Illinois State Police arrests increased by 13.88% in 2015 (6,584) compared to 2014 (5,784). The sheriff’s department reporting the most DUI arrests was Lake County (367), while Cook (331), Winnebago (278), Will (205) and Champaign (204) counties round out the top five sheriff departments.
Illinois State Police Trooper Eric David was Illinois’ Top Cop with 310 DUI arrests. Chicago Police Officer Timothy Walter arrested 232 drunk drivers while Chicago Police Officer Elliot Tupayachi arrested 226 drunk drivers.
“While the progress is encouraging, the battle to eliminate impaired driving is far from over,” Kreslin said. “With cannabis use now in the spotlight, AAIM’s concern is driver performance and traffic safety. The complex problem of reducing impaired driving has many facets, including law enforcement training, public awareness strategies, proper prosecution and adjudication to help prevent the senselessness of impaired motor vehicle crashes.”
AAIM is an Illinois-only citizen activist group founded in 1982 by victims of drunk driving.
— Rockford ties for top honors with drunk driving arrests —