Chicago traffic stops increased three-fold in two years

From the Chicago Tribune:

Pedestrian stops by Chicago police officers plummeted in number beginning in 2016 after a new state law and an agreement between the ACLU and the Police Department required officers to more thoroughly document and justify the encounters to ease concerns about racial profiling and constitutional violations…

But a new report from the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois says that at the same time pedestrian stops fell so sharply, Chicago police dramatically increased how often they pulled over motorists.

The number of traffic stops more than tripled, rising from 85,965 in 2015 to 187,133 in 2016, then jumping to 285,067 in 2017, the ACLU said.

The latest report also found that Chicago police stopped African-American motorists at a disproportionately higher rate than whites, Hispanics and Asians…

Multiple Chicago police officers who talked to the Tribune on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly said they believe many officers now prefer to pull drivers over rather than stop pedestrians. The documentation they must fill out for traffic stops is much simpler than the lengthy, detailed reports required for pedestrian stops as a result of the department’s agreement with the ACLU, they said.

Police have the authority to pull over drivers who commit traffic violations, but even if a ticket isn’t issued, officers are still required to document the motorist’s race and other identifiers. These so-called blue cards, though, take far less time to fill out than the reports for pedestrian stops, the officers said.

Read the entire article here:  https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-met-chicago-police-traffic-stops-20190111-story.html

Elmhurst will conduct a DUI roadblock tonight

From the Elmhurst Patch:

The Elmhurst Police Department continues to take part in a year-long traffic enforcement grant from the Illinois Department of Transportation. According to the department, the goal of this grant is to save lives by reducing fatal and serious injury crashes through additional enforcement of DUI and seatbelt laws.

The department said the roadside safety checkpoint will take place on major roadway in Elmhurst starting at 11:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30 and ending at 3 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 1.

As part of the grant, periodic roadside safety checkpoints are being set up throughout the year, with vehicles being stopped at a predetermined interval and checked for violations, the department said.

Chicago Police Sergeant charged with On Duty DUI

From NBC Chicago:

An on-duty Chicago police sergeant was charged with drunk driving Wednesday morning after failing a random drug and alcohol test at the police department’s headquarters on the South Side.

About 4:45 a.m., Michael Muszynsky, a 48-year-old sergeant assigned to the Albany Park district, drove to the Chicago police headquarters, 3510 S. Michigan Ave. in the Bronzeville neighborhood, to take a breathalyzer test.

His blood alcohol concentration was revealed to be at .139, surpassing the .08 limit of needed to legally drive a vehicle.

Muszynsky was arrested at 9 a.m. and charged with one misdemeanor count of DUI.

Read the whole story here:  https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/chicago-cop-charged-dui-497873621.html

Libertyville cop alleged to have given a pass to a Waukegan officer pulled over for DUI

From Patch:

Waukegan police officer was let off the hook instead of getting a DUI charge, according to police footage obtained by the Lake County News-Sun. The non-arrest isn’t the only recent example of local police going easy on each other.

On Sunday Nov. 12, 2017, soon before 3 a.m., Waukegan Officer Daniel Ramirez was pulled over on Milwaukee Avenue in Libertyville for speeding. The Libertyville cop who pulled him over, Officer Richard Kelly, administered a breathalyzer test, which Ramirez failed with a .17, over twice the legal limit.

Ramirez didn’t have his driver’s license on him, footage shows, but did have a U.S. passport and a Waukegan police ID.

Ramirez attempted a breathalyzer a few times, the video shows. When the sample finally took, Kelly looked at the device and asked Ramirez if he could call for a ride.

“I hate to give the guy — He blew a 0.17,” an accompanying officer said in a phone call with dispatch, in audio obtained by the News-Sun. “We’re not going to give him a break if he’s claiming to be an officer and he’s not an officer anymore.”

Libertyville police called the Waukegan station to confirm that Ramirez was in fact an officer. When they confirmed it, they let him call an Uber home and parked his car for him, according to the News-Sun.

Ramirez was not charged, the News-Sun reports. His punishment consisted of a 40-hour unpaid suspension. Libertyville Officer Kelly was found not to have violated policies, but should be further trained.

Read the whole story here:  https://patch.com/illinois/vernonhills/s/gj3c4/libertyville-pd-let-waukegan-cop-off-the-hook-after-dui-report?utm_term=article-slot-1&utm_source=newsletter-daily&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter

This Wednesday will be “Speed Awareness Day” which means extra traffic enforcement

trafficstop

This coming Wednesday will be the third annual “Speed Awareness Day.”

According to Central Illinois Proud:

During the day of awareness, motorists can expect to see and increase in police presence. The Illinois State Police is taking a proactive approach to promote safety for motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists through enforcement and education.

Pretty much every police department, from Addison to Zion will ramping up their speed enforcement on Wednesday.  So don’t say that I didn’t warn you.

And as a further reminder, driving 26-34 miles per hour over the speed limit is a Class B misdemeanor, and 35 miles or over is a Class A misdemeanor.

Please slow down.

Expect Enhanced DUI Enforcement for the 4th of July

carefulonthefourth

The Illinois State Police and more than 150 local police departments are planning enhanced DUI patrols and roadblocks for the Fourth of July holiday.

According to Patch:

This Fourth of July, please designate a sober driver and don’t let friends or family members drive
drunk. Other important tips include:

  • Give your designated driver your keys before you go out.
  • If you are drunk or impaired by marijuana or other drugs, call a taxi, take mass
  • transit, use your favorite ride-sharing service, or call a sober friend or family member to get you home safely.
  • Promptly report drunk drivers to law enforcement by pulling over and dialing 911.
  • Make sure everyone in your vehicle wears their seat belt. It is your best defense against an impaired driver.

The Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over and Click It or Ticket campaign is funded by federal traffic safety funds administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation. The crackdown runs concurrently with a media campaign reminding motorists that impaired driving has “Life or Death” consequences.

Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists releases its annual Top Cops list

The Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists has released its annual report of the Illinois police departments and officers who made the most DUI arrests in 2017.

The Top Cop list is as follows:

Rank
Title
Top Cops
Department
DUI Arrests
1 Trooper Eric David ISP District Chicago 208
2 Officer Timothy Walter Chicago District #19 167
3 Officer Benjamin McGill Springfield 132
4 Officer Elliot Tupayachi Chicago District #19 124
5 Investigator Andrew Hartman Rockford 110
6 Officer Paul Dublinski Elgin 105
7 Officer Carlos Ortiz Chicago District #19 104

The top suburban police departments (i.e., not including Chicago (1,982 DUI arrests in 2017) or the Illinois State Police (5,234 arrests) are below:

Rank
Municipality
2017
DUI Arrests
% Change from
2016 to 2017
2016
DUI Arrests
1 Rockford 490 6.8% 459
2 Elgin 418 14.5% 365
3 Decatur 391 -2.5% 401
4 Cicero 341 11.8% 305
5 Aurora 326 39.3% 234
6 Lombard 313 34.3% 233
7 Carol Stream 291 -4.6% 305
8 Springfield 288 25.2% 230
9 Naperville 271 -13.1% 312
10 Normal 246 2.9% 239
11 Fairview Heights 219 4.3% 210
12 Orland Park 216 17.4% 184
13 Elmhurst 214 6.5% 201
14 Gurnee 211 40.7% 150