Illinois ranks 49th in nation in DUI arrest rates, arrests down 30% over last 10 years

According to a new study by US Drug Test Centers, Illinois now ranks 49th in the nation in terms of DUI arrest by population.  Also, the total DUI arrest rate has dropped over 30% in the last 10 years.

However, it is unclear whether that drop has come because of lax traffic enforcement or alternatively, because less people are driving drunk due to tougher DUI laws.  Or it might be some other factor such as the rise of UBER and LYFT.  Most of the states in the top ten of DUI arrest rate by population (both Dakotas, Wyoming and Alaska for example) are spread out and don’t have much public transportation.  In a denser state like Illinois, it is a lot easier for a person to  walk, bike, use public transportation, a cab or ride-sharing to get back home after a night out drinking.  Overall, DUI arrests have fallen by 35% across the United States, so the drop in Illinois isn’t especially remarkable.

From the Patch:

A well-established national drug testing company recently published a comprehensive ranking of the states according to the rates of drunken driving, and Illinois finished near the bottom of the list.

The findings were based on information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Transportation and FBI crime reports.

Illinois ranked 49 overall for drunken driving rates in 2018, with 98.6 DUI-related arrests per 100,000 people.

Other metrics cited in the report showed our state has:

  • Short-term rate change in DUI arrest rate: -22.4 percent change from 2014-2018
  • Long-term rate change in DUI arrest rate: -30.3 percent change from 2009-2018

In the 10-year span from 2009 to 2018, Illinois peaked in 2012 with 146.54 arrests for every 100,000 people.

The United States overall has seen the population-adjusted rate of drunken driving arrests fall by more than 35 percent since 2009. Only three states — Delaware, Washington and North Dakota — recorded an increase in DUI arrests from 2009 to 2018.

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