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

Expect Heightened DUI Patrols Super Bowl Weekend

Police reports are gearing up for an expected uptick of drunk drivers this weekend.

From the Chicago Police:

The Chicago Police Department is conducting DUI Saturation Patrols in the Wentworth (2nd) and Near West (12th) Districts this weekend. The DUI Saturation Patrol in the Wentworth (2nd) District will commence at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, February 3, 2017 and end at 3:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 4, 2017. The DUI Saturation Patrol in the Near West (12th) District will begin at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 4, 2017 and end at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday, February 5, 2017.
The Illinois State Police will be out in force as well:

The Illinois State Police Department says they are increasing patrols for super bowl weekend to crack down on drunk drivers.

State troopers will also be on the lookout for speeding seat belts and distracted driving.

Public safety officer Sean Ramsey says you won’t just see state police out on the highway.

“We can be on the interstate, state routes, in town,” Illinois State Police Trooper Sean Ramsey said. “So really they have the latitude to go where they want. Where they think that these violations may be occurring.”

The Cook County Sheriff has also announced that it will be conducting heightened efforts:

Cook County Sheriff’s Police are scheduled to conduct enhanced patrols this weekend, Sheriff Thomas J. Dart announced today.

Sheriff’s Police are conducting countywide DUI enforcement patrols today, Saturday and Sunday nights. They will also be on the lookout for those violating seatbelt laws, today, Saturday and Monday.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office will conduct special traffic patrols this Super Bowl weekend, cracking down on alcohol-impaired drivers, drug-impaired drivers, and those not wearing their seatbelts.

Buffalo Grove police will be out in force this Super Bowl weekend, cracking down on seat belt law violators and alcohol and drug-impaired drivers.

Department officials announced the beefed up patrol efforts last week, reminding residents, “If you plan on drinking alcohol while cheering on your team, pass your keys to a sober driver before the Super Bowl party begins.”

The initiative coincides with the statewide “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign.

Other police departments will be out as well.  Please be safe and don’t drink and drive!

Chicago PD’s DUI Strike Patrol to target Near West Friday night

From the Chicago Police Department:

The Chicago Police Department will be conducting DUI Strike Force Patrols in the Near West (12th) District this upcoming weekend. The DUI Strike Force Patrol in the Near West (12th) District will commence at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, July 22, 2016 and end at 3:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 23, 2016. For More Information Click Here

The press release states that the previous week, the Strike Patrol issued 129 citations, a whopping three of them for DUI.

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.

DUI Strike Force to target Bridgeport, Ogden this weekend

Last week, the Chicago Police Department’s DUI Strike Force was responsible for 129 citations.  One of them was for DUI.  Here is the link to their press release.

Yes, one.

Obviously, this is a big waste of police resources and a big source of harassment for motorists.

Nevertheless, they are back in force again this weekend.

From DNAInfoChicago (Kelly Bauer, reporting):

Police will crack down on drunken drivers in the Bridgeport-based Deering District this weekend.

Police will lead a DUI Strike Force Patrol from 7 p.m. Friday to 3 a.m. Saturday.

Officers will look for drivers who are drunk, speeding, not wearing their seat belts and other violations.

Oddly enough, this is not on the CPD’s official web site.  However, they do have a press release on their site about another patrol the following day:

The Chicago Police Department will be conducting a DUI Strike Force Patrol in the Ogden (10th) District this weekend. The DUI Strike Force Patrol will commence at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 11, 2016 and end at 3:00 a.m. on Sunday, June 12, 2016.

Chicago Police’s DUI Strike Unit out to annoy motorists tonight

The Chicago Police Department has announced that it will be in force tonight in the Gresham District, conducting a “DUI Strike Patrol” starting at 7:00 p.m. tonight through 3:00 a.m.

From their press release:

The purpose of this program is to saturate a pre-designated area with roving police officers that continually monitor vehicular traffic for signs of impaired driving. Patrols also place emphasis on speed, alcohol-related and safety belt violations. Police vehicles equipped for speed detection are deployed to apprehend speeding violators. In addition, the Breath Alcohol Testing (BAT) Mobile Unit may also be deployed to allow officers to expedite the process of charging a person with Driving under the Influence (DUI) prior to transporting an alleged into the nearest lockup for bonding. The mobile unit also allows for Individual Recognizance Bonds (I-Bonds) to be issued at the site of the DUI Strike Force Patrol.

You may ask, why do I say “annoy motorists” instead of “protect the public”?

Because look at their stats from last week’s DUI Strike Patrol, conducted in the Grand Crossing District:  135  citations, only one of them was for DUI.

One DUI on a Saturday night?  Are you kidding me?  Any patrol officer can get a DUI while out on patrol on a Saturday in Chicago between 7 p.m. and 3 a.m.  Why not use some of those officers instead to stop people from getting killed a block from the Chicago Police’s main headquarters?

Thats my 2 cents.