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Survey reports high arrest rates in Illinois suburb towns

In Illinois suburban areas, local police departments spend considerable effort arresting people suspected of driving under the influence.

The emphasis placed on apprehending DUI offenders is evident in the annual survey reports for 2018 just released by the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists, reports the Daily Herald.

The numbers

The top three police departments in number of arrests are Rockford, with 552, Aurora, with 446 and Decatur, with 391.

Elmhurst comes in at number seven on the list, with 277 DUI arrests. However, when it comes to arrest rates per officer, Elmhurst is third, with 3.79 arrests per officer. Lombard’s police department rates highest with an average of 4.54 arrests per officer.

Department strategies

Many police departments place a high focus on location, sending officers out into specific areas where a high number of impaired drivers may be. However, some officials believe this strategy is inefficient and fails to maximize the potential of the department.

In Elgin, for example, the Traffic Unit Lieutenant explains that officers receive training in identifying specific behaviors that impaired drivers typically exhibit. Officers watch all vehicles for the following giveaways:

  • Making wide turns
  • Traveling in the wrong lane
  • Driving without headlights

People who drive under the influence may also drive too fast or too slowly, fall asleep at traffic lights or brake suddenly.

DUI checkpoints

Most departments do not rely on this strategy alone, though. DUI checkpoints are a legal method of apprehending impaired drivers, and officers set up these roadblocks frequently in a wide range of locations. At a checkpoint, an officer looks for signs of intoxication such as bloodshot eyes or lack of coordination. The smell of alcohol or visible empty alcoholic beverage containers may also give an officer probable cause to investigate further.

An officer may also ask drivers questions, such as whether they have had anything to drink, but drivers do not have to respond to these types of invitations to supply information.

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