Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists releases its list of Top Cops and Departments

The Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists has released its annual list of its “Top Cops” and Departments.

The list should be familiar to any attorney who practices in Chicago’s Traffic Court – 7 of the top 10 and 9 of the top 12 issue citations that are heard at the Richard J. Daley Center.  Only two of the top 12 officers are from outside Cook County.

Amazingly, four of the cops are from the same Chicago Police District.

Here is the list of the 12 cops who made the most DUI arrests in Illinois in 2016:

Rank
Title
Top Cops
Department
DUI Arrests
1 Trooper Eric David ISP District Chicago 297
2 Officer Timothy Walter Chicago District #19 210
3 Trooper Lucas Sniady ISP District Chicago 196
4 Officer Elliot Tupayachi Chicago District #19 180
5 Officer Phillip Travis Chicago District #16 128
6 Officer Tesfai Tewelde Chicago District #25 124
7 Officer Carlos Ortiz Chicago District #19 119
8 Investigator Andrew Hartman Rockford 118
9 Officer John Fermon Bloomington 107
10 Officer Dennis Dwyer Oak Lawn 105
10 Officer John Maclaren Chicago District #19 105
11 Officer Mark Januszewski Chicago District #24 103

 

Yes, you read that right.  One officer made 297 DUI arrests in a single calendar year.  Assuming that he gets 2 days off a week, plus one week of vacation per year – even without sick days that means he makes more than one DUI arrest per day.

In terms of Departments, here is the ranking (figures obtained from here and here)

State Police 5,619
Chicago 2,592
Rockford 459
Decatur 401
Elgin 365
Naperville 312
Cicero 305
Carol Stream 305
Bloomington 300
Normal 239
Aurora 234
Lombard 233
Springfield 230
Oak Lawn 223
Joliet 212

AAIM releases 2015 Illinois DUI arrest stats

Every year, the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists releases statistics regarding DUI arrests.  Here are some of the numbers:

Top Arresting Departments:

Illinois State Police (statewide): 6,584

Chicago Police:  3,315

Top Cook Suburb:  Cicero:  300 (runner-up Berwyn:  225)

Top DuPage Suburb:  Carol Stream: 464 (runner-up Naperville:  369)

The whole list can be found here:  https://www.aaim1.org/stats_dui.asp

They also produce a list of the “Top Cops” who made the most DUI arrests, which can be found here:  https://www.aaim1.org/stats_topcops.asp  It is interesting to me that the top 5 cops all are stationed in the Chicago area, and they make up 8 of the top 10.  Overall, there were nine Chicago cops who made 100 or more DUI arrests in 2015, as well as another 2 Illinois State Police Officers patrolling the Chicago highways.  Three officers had more than 225 arrests, and one had 310!  Considering that the average officer works less than 250 days of the year, that is at least one DUI arrest per shift.

DUI arrests in Chicago cut in half over 10 years

Nearly five years ago, I posted a blog about “Why are DUIs becoming less frequent?” where I noted that DUI arrests were going down and I posited some ideas about why.  That was before the rise of ride sharing apps, which may be an additional factor as well as the trends which I mentioned before which have not changed.

My thoughts back then were:

1. The penalties for committing a DUI have gone way up; this includes vehicle forfeitures, fines 2-3 times what they were, mandatory breath ignition interlock devices, mandatory minimum sentencing and expanded eligibility for felony classification. These tough new laws have been heavily advertised.
2. Public attitudes against drunk driving continue a thirty year trend towards less and less acceptance. When is the last time that you saw a “comic drunk” in a movie or tv show?
3. Less people are going out to drink due to the economy and smoking bans. People may also be more risk-averse in these bad economic times and more unwilling to chance the financial, legal and professional costs of a DUI.
4. Less traffic stops due to less police officers on the street and the expanded use of red light and speeding cameras instead of police for traffic enforcement.
5. In Chicago, many of our top DUI officers are no longer on patrol, as many of them were caught exaggerating or making up facts. Other officers have been on an unofficial work stoppage in misplaced solidarity with these officers.

The proof of this is in the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists (“AAIM”) latest report which shows that DUI arrests in Chicago have dropped in half over the past ten years.

From DNAInfo.com:

Chicago DUI arrests have steadily declined: 3,395 in 2013, down significantly from the 2000s, when the Police Department charged 4,341 in 2009, 5,262 in 2008 and 6,257 in 2007.

The story gives some possible reasons for the decline:

Bob Cebrzynski, president of the alliance’s board of directors, called it “an encouraging sign,” saying, “Maybe public awareness over the last 20 years with ‘Don’t Drink and Drive’ is finally hitting home.

“Maybe Uber has something to do with it,” he added. “Maybe Lyft has something to do with it.”

Police officials, however, say decades of common-sense advisories on the dangers of drinking and driving are finally sinking in.

Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said that for the last several years police and other agencies “have been doing a lot to raise awareness on the dangers of drinking and driving. Between all of the federal campaigns like ‘over the limit, under arrest’ and proactive enforcement from state and local police departments, I think people are much more aware of the dangers today than perhaps 10 years ago.

“Also, I think the zero-tolerance approach has begun to resonate and thankfully we see much fewer tragedies.”

Chicago Police have targeted given areas for enforcement, including roadside stops, in an effort to combat and discourage drunken driving.

At the same time, public-service campaigns have put the cost of defending a DUI charge at $10,000 and up, a powerful deterrent on top of the stigma and the simple danger involved in getting caught driving drunk.

Whatever the reasons, the results are encouraging.

A Smart Tweak to DUI Victim Impact Panels to Reach Younger Offenders

Illinois DUI offenders are required to attend a Victim Impact Panel (VIP) as part of their sentence.  At a VIP, offenders sit in an audience and listen as victims of drunk driving accidents, family members, or convicted drunk drivers talk about the damage that can happen on the ride home from a night of drinking.

In a pay-walled story on the Chicago Tribune’s site, Barbara Brotman, writes about how these Victim Impact Panels are getting a smart tweak, in order to reach younger DUI offenders.

From the Tribune:

Other [Victim Impact] panels offered by [the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists], which holds 140 of them a year in the Chicago area and collar counties, address offenders of all ages. But Rita Kreslin, executive director of the alliance, worried that they were missing their mark with the younger crowd.

Kreslin, whose son John was killed in a crash at age 19, took note of young people she saw when she spoke at victim impact panels.

“I’d see those kids file out that didn’t look old enough to have a driver’s license (and) they’re thinking, ‘Well, that doesn’t apply to me; the guy next to me was an old man,'” she said.

She wanted to create panels that would clearly apply to young people, some of whom also face charges of underage drinking or reckless conduct, at a pivotal point in their lives.

“I’m not going to teach some 40-year-old how to make better choices,” Kreslin said. “But the kids, it’s more of a restorative program.”

She proposed having panels specifically for young people to officials of the DuPage County court system over the summer, and the chief judge approved her plan.

DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin is a supporter.

“I think someone who is under the age of 24 looks at life a lot differently than someone who is in their 40s or 50s,” he said.

A number of chapters of Mothers Against Drunk Driving across the nation already hold victim impact panels for young people.

And the national organization last January rolled out a program for teenage offenders called Start Making a Right Turn, or SMART, that incorporates a victim impact panel, information on the developing teenage brain and strategies for not drinking until the legal age of 21.

MADD Illinois hopes to start offering the SMART program in Berwyn after Jan. 1, said state Executive Director Sam Canzoneri.

The Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists victim impact panels for youths currently are offered only in DuPage County, though Kreslin is working to expand it and said officials in other counties have expressed interest. Last month’s panel at Benedictine University was only AAIM’s second geared for young people.

2012 Chicago DUI statistics

From DNAinfoChicago.com:

Chicago cops made almost 25 percent more drunken driving arrests in 2012 compared to the previous year, the study by the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists found.

In 2012, Chicago cops busted 3,795 motorists believed to be intoxicated, according to the report.

That’s up from 2011, when Chicago saw 3,037 arrests, AAIM said.

The alliance cited two Chicago cops among the most active in the state in lodging drunken driving charges: Officers Timothy Walter and Matthew Tegtmeier. Walter made 179 arrests in 2012; Tegtmeier made 154 arrests.

The state’s top DUI cop was Rockford investigator John Wenstrom, with 205, AAIM said…

According to the Secretary of State’s office:

• Three out of four DUI offenders are men.

• The average age is 34, with 60 percent under the age of 35.

• The average DUI offender is arrested between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m. on a weekend.

• The average drunken driver is caught  with a blood alcohol level of .16 percent, or twice the legal limit.

State Police, Chicago, Naperville, Itasca and Rockford top the list for most DUI arrests in Illinois

DUIfieldtestsThe Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists has released its annual DUI arrest surveyt, and it shows that outside of the City of Chicago, Rockford had the most DUI arrests of any municipality in Illinois (although the State Police were the top DUI writers).  Naperville came second.  Itasca had the most DUI arrests per officer.

From the Chicago Tribune:

Naperville police collared more motorists suspected of drunken driving in 2012 than any other Chicago suburb for the third straight year, according to an annual survey by the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists.

Itasca, meanwhile, had the highest DUI arrest rate per officer statewide, the results showed.

The annual survey, funded by a grant from the Illinois Department of Transportation, was based on data from more than 500 police departments.

Statewide, Rockford netted the highest number of DUI arrests outside Chicago for the sixth consecutive year with 699, followed by Naperville (576), Springfield (460), Peoria (426), Decatur (408), Carol Stream (389), Aurora (330), Elmhurst (324), Rock Island (323) and Normal (322)…

Itasca’s rate of 11.78 DUI arrests per police officer put it solidly in the state’s top spot for arrest rates for the second straight year, followed by Carol Stream with 6.59 and Fairview Heights with 6.33…

AAIM’s survey does not provide a complete picture, however. The response rate of police departments was about 84 percent, and the survey tracks arrests, not convictions. Some of the departments making the top 10 for number of arrests may not be surprising, as half of them also are in the top 10 for population.

Chicago is in its own category due to its size. Chicago police made 3,795 DUI arrests last year, a 25 percent increase over 2011. Illinois State Police arrested 7,220 suspected impaired drivers last year, a 25.7 percent decline, according to the survey.

Over the past several years, the state’s total number of DUI arrests has been dropping, falling to 38,704 in 2011 compared with 48,113 in 2008, according to Illinois secretary of state figures.